THE ECHOING GREEN
A Different Drum (ADDCD1142)
Release Date: Exact release date unknown
"Fall Awake" is the lead-off single for the Echoing Green's sixth full-length studio album, The Winter of Our Discontent (not counting remix and rarity collections). The single contains five versions of the title song, plus three versions of the Christmas song "Little Drummer Boy" and three versions of Leiahdorus' "Jupiter." Lyrically, "Fall Awake" is from the perspective of someone who sees a loved one living in a self-destructive manner, and trying to reach out to that person to help them. The original mix of the song switches back and forth between slow, haunting moments of the speaker seeing what is happening to their loved one, and the surging, anxious moments of pleading with that person. It is this dichotomy of emotion that gives the song its strength; and why many of these remixes ultimately fail. The Virtual Server mix is a good example of this – the energy level that carries the chorus is maintained throughout the entire track, conflicting with the emotion of the lyrics. Halovox, on the other hand, have turned in the strongest remix (“Catcher In The Rye Mix”), by trying to reflect this same sonic dichotomy that the original version had while putting their own twist on it. The strangest moment on the CD turns up in the middle of the Sheltershed mix, when a spoken word section is inserted, with a comment about dreams coming true being like "open sores." This seems to go against the emotion of hope in the deepest despair that is prevalent in the original song.
"Little Drummer Boy" is a rather straightforward version of the song, with a strong synthpop sound. The Dance Mix is a relatively good mix of the song which incorporates some new percussion sounds, and isolates some of the backing vocal tracks. However, the Little Gothgirl Mix is a tremendous disappointment, as it is mainly a loop of the new percussion sounds from the Dance Mix. What freshened up the remix version becomes very tedious when listened to by itself in repetition.
The disc closes with three versions of the song "Jupiter" from an album by Leiahdorus. This album was produced by The Echoing Green's Joey Belville, and Leiahdorus' Jason Smith has filled in on keyboards at The Echoing Green’s most recent concert appearances. The album version of the song is included here, and is a strong synthpop track in its own right. Run Level Zero provides the first remix, and try taking the song in more of a darker vein. However, the resultant mix ends up faltering due to the softness of Jason's vocals being lost behind the wall of bass and percussion sounds. The disc closes with a mix by DJ Introvert, which falls into a category of remix that I personally don’t care for as much. The music itself is quite good and interesting – however, the slashed up vocal track proves to be more of a distraction than anything else. A different mix by DJ Introvert was posted at Leiahdorus’ official website and is superior to the effort that is presented here.
In all, the disc is a bit of a disappointment – "Fall Awake" is a strong departure track for the band, showing a strong change in how The Echoing Green approaches music, and many of the mixes fail to live up to the expectations created by the original version.
(reviewed by Daniel Aeschliman on February 2, 2003)
"Fall Awake" written by Joey Belville
"Little Drummer Boy," traditional, arranged by The Echoing Green
"Jupiter" written by Jason Smith
Tracks 1 through 8 performed by The Echoing Green
Tracks 9 through 11 performed by Leiahdorus
"Fall Awake" and "Little Drummer Boy" produced by Joey Belville & Chrissy J
"Jupiter" produced by Joey Belville
"Fall Awake" remixed by DJ Ram of Virtual Server, delobbo, Halovox, and Sheltershed
"Little Drummer Boy" remixed by Todd Durrant
"Jupiter" remixed by Run Level Zero and DJ Introvert