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Alec Reviews Music: Echosmith strays from cool kid status with ‘Inside a Dream’

Echosmith no longer wants to be the cool kids; they want to be something more. 

Album cover for Echosmith's extended play Inside a Dream
Photo Courtesy: echosmith.com

The problem here is breaking out of the pop mold. As a group, Echomsith must prove they are more than a one hit wonder and can make something meaningful. That is exactly what their latest extended play, “Inside a Dream,” aims to do.

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Echosmith is a younger band out of Chino, California. You can mostly follow them back to 2009, but it has only been in recent years that they have started making a name for themselves. The trio consist of siblings Sydney, Noah and Graham Sierota. Their older sibling Jamie departed from the group in 2016. The band’s debut record, “Talking Dreams,” was released back in 2013 and helped the band gain some mainstream recognition. The track “Cool Kids” dominated airwaves all around the country, and before long, the record was certified gold here in the United States. The biggest complaint of their debut was it lacked a lot of character, which is what the group is attempting to fix with “Inside a Dream.”

“Inside a Dream” is a longer EP at seven tracks long and clocking in at around 25 minutes in length. From start to finish, it has classic Echosmith written all over it, but there are a few new twists that make it different. While there are pop dance rock tracks that have just enough life in them to keep you from turning it off, there a few more deep and impactful songs that are bigger than a lot of Echosmith’s previous works.

Starting the record off is “Lessons,” which as a lead track is mostly solid. It is the most like Echosmith’s previous work and is a good introduction into the record for older fans. With very basic progression and shallow lyrics about love and music, it isn’t necessarily anything special and can be labeled as generic. Immediately following it though is “Get into My Car,” which has more depth and progression. The synth-rock style takes full control here. While it is catchy and memorable with a melody that sticks with you, “Get into My Car” isn’t high energy enough to dance along to or really do much with.

Tracks like “18” and “Future” me serve as good fillers on “Inside a Dream.” While “18” is made to be more the anthem style summer song with an ode to being young, it can’t decide if it wants to stand out or not. Lyrics don’t do a whole lot, and for an younger band, it doesn’t make sense to look back on their age now. On “Future Me,” they look towards the future. This is a bit more admirable than “18.” “Future Me” is layered, mixed well and focuses on the possibilities of the future. “Future Me” is a much more enjoyable listen and one of the bigger tracks to keep drawing you in. 

What really steals the show and showcases just how far the band has come in four years are the tracks “Goodbye” and “Dear World.” Both tracks take a much more somber and darker tone. “Goodbye” builds up to be this much larger than life track from when it starts out, while “Dear World” is a sad reflection on events. Both are some of the better written and produced tracks. It’s is obvious why “Goodbye” was the lead single of this EP.

Should you listen to it? Maybe

The thing with “Inside a Dream” is that is different, not in a good or bad way, just different. Longtime fans will find a few tracks to enjoy, but there is plenty geared towards a new audience and fanbase. Obviously, Echosmith is trying to prove themselves before they take on the sophomore slump. This EP still has some fun music like “Goodbye” and “Hungry” which will round out any party playlist. But they are just not the cool kids they were in 2014.

Band facts: 

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  • The band comprises four siblings 
  • The band’s name was inspired by blacksmith, who shape metals, but instead the band shapes sound.
  • Their first song was a cover of “Lovesong” by The Cure

Collegian reporter Alec Erickson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CTV_Ace.

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