Forty Foot Echo

Forty Foot Echo

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Forty Foot Echo mines territory similar to Creed or Lifehouse on its Hollywood debut, vacillating between chunky post-grunge rockers and uplifting, righteous power ballads that are all treated with the glimmering sheen that is mixer Tom Lord-Alge's trademark. "Weakness" lurches along with plenty of gritty guitar chug, but vocalist Murray Yates is accompanied by processed, robot versions of himself throughout, giving the song the same articulated quality that's become the dominant sound of loud rock in the years since Creed's popular breakthrough. Then there's "Save Me," an uplifting rocker dominated by self-referential, entirely blasé lyrics like "Sit around and find myself again." The track is perfectly rendered, having been tweaked and prodded to appeal to the broadest base imaginable. In fact, it sounds quite a bit like the older brother of the Calling's "Wherever You Will Go." Yates and his mates' few extra years of seasoning have given their entry a moustache and some extra emotional baggage, but it's essentially the same radio-ready single, guaranteed to find its way onto a soundtrack before too long. That's the problem with Forty Foot Echo. Even its more rocking moments are more predictable than the plot of Kate Hudson's next romantic comedy. Yates has a powerful voice, and his pals seem to put everything they have into their playing (especially on "Drift"). But with its glossy production, same-y songs, and general interest lyrical ideologies, Forty Foot Echo's debut is designed for maximum consumption by the lowest common denominator.

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