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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Young - Echoes
"Echoes", the fifth studio album by Will Young, is released exactly 10 years after his first Pop Idol audition- and it seems a sensible sentiment to release this album at this time because it really shows how Will has grown in the last ten years. This album is a world away from the blinding obvious song choices on his debut album, and the move is definitely a move in the...
Published on 22 Aug. 2011 by N. Wilson

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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Young - Echoes, 22 Aug. 2011
By 
N. Wilson "nigel-wilson" (Bristol, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
"Echoes", the fifth studio album by Will Young, is released exactly 10 years after his first Pop Idol audition- and it seems a sensible sentiment to release this album at this time because it really shows how Will has grown in the last ten years. This album is a world away from the blinding obvious song choices on his debut album, and the move is definitely a move in the right direction.

The album is a decadent masterpiece. Undoubtedly the best thing he's ever done, the album stands out for its quality and assurance in the mainstream pop market, and is definitely the finest release of this year, and the best yet in Will's career- it's wonderfully written and sculpted, and the album's sound is a juxtaposition of strong and tender sounds with strong and vulnerable vocals. The craftsmanship of this music is second-to-none and the music is unforgettably addictive.

Lyrically, it takes a natural step on from 2008 release "Let It Go" and continues to be personal, emotive and underplayed, but musically it jumps in an entirely different direction. The album is produced by Richard X, although I don't think that really gives anyone an idea of what to expect because it's not how I thought it would sound at all!

`Jealousy' is a very good example of what to expect sound- and theme-wise from this album, and that's probably the best I can do when it comes to describing what this album is like because the whole collection's sound it is so simple and unique that I don't think I could do it justice! It has elements of Everything But The Girl, Hurts, The Honeymoon and The Eurhythmics about it- but I really don't think this really even half describes what you can expect from this collection of songs!

I will however say that it's an emotive and eclectic collection of very personal and very delicate songs, with lots of falsetto and a chilled-out dance sound. The whole affair is very much a tight-body of work, but each track also stands strongly alone- in fact I don't think I'd be overdoing it by stating that each song is like a little musical piece of art! It's carefully played out- there's no overdoing of the vocals on this album, no excessive instrumentation or overdependence on electronics to create an epic, euphoric sound- this is comes naturally to the albums and it's basically as stripped back as an electro-dance album can be and it's magically brilliant.

I love each track across the board, but I will comment on a few particular favourite tracks.

`Silent Valentine' and `Outsider' are two fantastic ballads with an excellent and gentle atmospheric sound, the former having a twinge of an anthemic-ballad about it, whilst `Safe From Harm' is probably the album's most personal and emotive song and is truly delightful. Meanwhile `Losing Myself' and `Come On' are bigger- well, bigger in comparison to the previously mentioned three- with more synths and stronger vocals- the former of these two sounds very 80's influenced and is definitely one of my favourites.

`Hearts on Fire' is actually the album's stand out track, it encrypts all of the album's flavours and sounds and is executed marvellously- it has a delicious guitar riff and wonderful electrobeats, with powerful lyrics and delicate vocals and a wonderful twinge of summer to it.

"Echoes" really is one of the finest albums around. Will has never been better or stronger, and this really demonstrates what a true master of musicianship he really is. The album is as sensual as it is tender and gentile, and is incredibly powerful despite being relaxed and simple, which is what makes this album so magical. Any doubts I had about Will Young being able to pull this off have been completely and utterly erased; I really cannot praise "Echoes" enough and I hugely recommend it without reserve!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous new album from Will, 1 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Echoes (MP3 Download)
Echoes is amazing from beginning to end. Jealousy hooks you in with an album version that is even better than the single. The other tracks then show Will's voice is better than ever backed by the great production of Richard X ( plus the added bonus of Will doing the backing vocals too). This album should appeal to previous Will fans as it showcases his voice and songwriting to perfection, but the rhythm and beats should bring him a whole new audience - if there's any justice in the world!

I would strongly recommend that anyone considering buying Echoes to do so - you won't regret it!
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictedely good. A decade after first Pop Idol, he shows maturity, progress and creativity control, 24 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
Considering the amount of TV talent show contestants ruthlessly chewed up and spat out by the industry within months of their record deal, it's quite a feat that the original Pop Idol, Will Young, is still here, almost ten years after rather awkwardly bopping along to "Blame It on the Boogie" in front of a then-unknown Simon Cowell.
After begrudgingly toeing the party line with his easy listening debut album, Young has effortlessly continued to progress his sound and take more creative control with each release, to the point that it's now quite easy to forget his manufactured beginnings, and his fifth studio album, "Echoes", is no exception.
Inspired by the positive reaction toward his Bronski Beat-esque collaboration with Groove Armada ("History"), Young has recruited one half of the duo, Andy Cato, alongside Pascal Gabriel (Ladyhawke), Kish Mauve (Kylie), and Swedish duo the Sound of Arrows to co-write 13 highly personal tracks that largely eschew his trademark MOR blue-eyed soul in favor of an understated electro sound that perfectly fits his delicate and fragile vocals.
Any fans concerned that he might be jumping on the ubiquitous dance-pop bandwagon should be reassured by the fact that Richard X's sparse and subtle production is certainly more at the chillout end of the Balearic market than the David Guetta-esque floor-filling one, as evident on the lead single, "Jealousy", a brooding tale of unrequited love set against a backdrop of warm gentle synths and electro beats, the atmospheric '80s-tinged "Runaway", and the twinkling falsetto-led melancholy of closing number "Safe from Harm".
Of course, this being a Will Young album, a heartfelt ballad is never more than a few electronic bleeps away, and while the schmaltzy "Lie Next to Me" could have been lifted from a Gareth Gates record, the dramatic Adele-esque piano-led "Outsider" is worthy of sitting alongside "Leave Right Now" and "All Time Love" in his canon of acoustic tearjerkers.
Few would have predicted that the U.K.'s first Pop Idol would still be around a decade later, let alone making music as confident and self-assured as Echoes, which sounds like the album Young was born to make. J. O'Brien
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of 2011, so far !!, 22 Aug. 2011
By 
Mr. R. Haden "hdrob9" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
I received Wills new cd on Friday, and i've been playing it virtually non stop, all weekend ! I didn't think Will could make a better album, than his last one ( Let It Go ) but he has !
Let It Go's theme was relationship driven, ( the heartache, and coming through that heartache, and the effects of it. ) hence the number of ballads. Echoes, is a " good feel, fun album "
The mark of a great album is, when any of the tracks ( 13 here ) could be released as singles...and without doubt these all could be ! ( it's a shame there will be no more " physical single cd's " released )
Will, is one of the rare artists, where the songs are instantly in your head ! It doesn't need a few listens.
Most people, and the media would describe Echoes as a " dance " album, but i'd describe it as a " groove " album. Most dance music nowadays is just a noisy beat !...but Echoes has more than just the beat, it has infectious melody too ! Songs, that you can't get out of your head !...and are impossible, not to sing along too ! From the first song " Jealousy " to the last, " Safe From Harm ", this album is full of nothing but sheer quality !!
Vocally, ( along with George Michael ) i would say that Will is Britain's best vocalist. His voice is as good as ever..if not better ! He makes singing seem so effortless, but of course it isn't !
If you want to listen to the best album, released so far this year, then i implore you, to go out and buy Will's new cd ! It's fantastic !!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant, 30 Aug. 2011
By 
Helen Harvey (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very different, but brilliant, his voice is exeptional on this album. I love it. Buy it and buy some great headphones at the same time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a gem..., 28 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
This really is a gem of an album.....For those that turn their nose up at the fact its Will Young....you don't know what you're missing! Fantastically produced and full of emotion it leaves you with that feeling you get at the end of an album when it's that good...that life is worth living feeling. Awesome
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just perfection, 4 Oct. 2011
By 
This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
Will Young has become a fixture on the UK music scene. Very few artists manage to survive for 10 years in this ruthless environment.
There is a good reason why he has outlasted all but a handful of his contemporaries - he is a quality artist, pure and simple.
This new album has been described by some as a complete change of style for Will. I see it rather as a development of his normal sublime vocals to encompass elements in the style of 'History', which he recorded last year with Groove Armada.
The lead single 'Jealousy' is a perfect example of this.
So too is the driving 'I just want a lover'.
Beautiful ballads are here too though, in the shape of the haunting 'Silent Valentine', and 'Lie Next to Me'
This is an album which needs more than one listen to be fully appreciated.
It is well worth the effort.
This will prove a classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't sure at first., 28 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
From the first listen i thought it was a little depressing, but from the second listen onwards, it's a great album. Will has clearly written these songs from his life experience's which makes it a very personal album. The title track "jealousy" is a fab upbeat dance track. Hope the next single will be "Lie next to me". Even if you are not a Will fan, it is defo worth a listen. x :-)
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet!, 22 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Echoes (MP3 Download)
I'm sort of stunned listening to this album, it is rich in beats, melodies and lyrics to identify with. Silent Valentine is just so beautiful, other tracks make you get up and dance. There is always some melancholy, or other emotion, behind the beats. Will has developed into an amazing artist and his vocals are so unique and gorgeous, and the production by Richard X is faultless too. The only song I'm not getting so much is Outsider.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Young surprises!, 22 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
What a revelation----this 5th studio album from Will Young, masterfully produced by RichardX, is a gem! Meaningful lyrics as always from this artist but with his distinctive vocal soaring over an exciting insistent beat. This is an elegant classy album from Will Young and RichardX. Co-writers Fred Falk,Andy Cato,Biff Stannard and others have contributed to a great album which deserves longevity.
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