The Echoes

Listen Up

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There are a plethora of bands named the Echoes out there, with this Echoes displaying the songwriting of Mark Alexander and voice of Teresa Starr. Like a new wave Paul & Paula their minimalist approach is reminiscent of '60s music, not as primitive as Dorothy Wiggin and her sisters' group the Shaggs, but more like the Aquatones with treble guitar and a voice searching the stars up above. There are 15 songs on the groups first full-length CD, Listen Up It's the Echoes, the follow-up to the limited edition The Echoes Sound Off, and they all have a charming appeal all their own. "Wasting Our Lives" has the naïve and pretty guitar on a quest for a tuning it likes while Alexander and Starr blend their harmonies over the simple chord changes. There's little information on where and how this music was recorded, the 12-page booklet containing only lyrics and song titles/writing credits. Everything is credited to the Echoes, which means whoever the duo perform with democratically share the credit. Alexander handles guitar, harmonica, some keyboards and occasional bass while main vocalist Starr adds some percussion. Their heartfelt approach can't be denied, "Cross Between the Two" a perfect love song for college radio. "When the Love" has Alexander experimenting with his guitar sounds while Starr keeps her pop sensibilities about her, and the music she's singing. They are seriously adventurous and know how to find a groove. In a world of high-end explosions and music with nothing to say, these new Echoes communicate their feelings well over a stripped down framework that Nuggets fans will eat up.

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