Echo Mountain is K's Choice's first album in ten years, and the comeback status sets some expectations, further boosted by the strange two-CD format where each disc is basically an EP. With a setup like that, it's logical to assume that this would be either a conceptual revelation or a massive, overblown blunder bending under its own weight -- Avatar or Chinese Democracy, take your pick. But it's neither -- Echo Mountain is just a simple but mature and filler-free alt-rock album that did not require a decade-long break to produce, but feels none the worse for that. Even the two-CD division does not mean much -- the music progresses, but in a more organic way than a simple dichotomy: this is a single album, not really a pairing of EPs. The record opens with some dynamic but also very melodic rockers that sound like Death Cab for Cutie or Third Eye Blind in their prime -- the hooks are not very explicit, but the tunes build a fine mood and manage to get the listener interested in exploring them. But even the faster tracks have a softly melancholic atmosphere, and after a while they give way to slower, more relaxed tunes that tether on the brink of folk, but retain enough in their arrangements to make them worth hearing -- no primitive chord strumming here. K's Choice's biggest hits in the ‘90s, "Not an Addict" and "Everything for Free," were fairly dramatic, but with the exception of "Killing Dragons," Echo Mountain avoids going down this road again -- it's a nostalgic album, but not an angsty one, having the vibe of a summer night after a tiring but enjoyable day. The musical tools K's Choice use to achieve this feel are nothing new, but their subtle mood-building skills make up for that.
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AllMusic Review by Alexey Eremenko
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2