Kid Icarus

Be My Echo

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The fifth release from the prolific Kid Icarus (aka Eric Schlitter) shows him fully indulging his indie rock muse throughout the long-winded Be My Echo. As the disc would endlessly benefit by cutting its 22 tracks in half, its sprawl is a bit hard to digest despite the presence of generally pleasant songwriting and a few winning tracks. Still, far too often his agreeable qualities are greatly outweighed by their stiflingly commonplace elements, as the lack of particularly memorable melodies or songwriting themes ensures that the album sinks under its own weight. Alternating between lo-fi guitar rock in the Bob Pollard mold and more thoughtful, acoustic singer/songwriter material, his exploration never really reveals a sound that seems to suit him. Even though he seems to hold obscure songwriters like Jandek and Roky Erickson in high esteem (he covers Erickson's "You're an Unidentified Flying Object"), he lacks both the peculiarity and imagination that earned such artists a cult following. Ultimately, you almost have to admire his audacity in loading an album with so much mediocre material, but that daring never quite translates into making his final product any more enjoyable.

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