Echoes (Will Young album)

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Echoes
Studio album by Will Young
Released 19 August 2011 (2011-08-19)
Recorded 2010–11
Genre
Length 50:36
Label
Producer
Will Young chronology
The Hits
(2009)
Echoes
(2011)
The Essential
(2013)
Singles from Echoes
  1. "Jealousy"
    Released: 19 August 2011
  2. "Come On"
    Released: 21 November 2011
  3. "Losing Myself"
    Released: 18 March 2012
  4. "I Just Want a Lover"
    Released: 1 July 2012

Echoes is the fifth studio album by English recording artist Will Young. It was released by 19 Recordings in association with RCA Records and Sony Music on 19 August 2011. A departure from previous albums which saw him working with a diverse roster of collaborators, Young worked with music producer Richard X and Pete Hofmann on the bulk of the album. A television special, A Night With Will Young, aired on ITV on 27 August 2011 to coincide with the release of the album and recognising Young's impending ten-year anniversary in the music industry.

Upon its release, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, becoming Young's third album to do so. "Jealousy" was released as the lead single from the album on 19 August 2011, reaching number five on the UK Singles Chart. Further singles "Come On", "Losing Myself", and "I Just Want a Lover" were less successful and failed to reach the top forty. Echoes sold 65,000 copies in its first week and has now sold just over 550,000 copies in the UK.

Background[edit]

In November 2009, Young released his first greatest hits collection, The Hits. The album was a success on the charts, being certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.[1] The following year, Young collaborated with electronic music duo Groove Armada on their album Black Light, singing vocals on the track "History".[2] For his fifth album, turned to music producer Richard X after listening the X-produced Steve Mason album, 2010’s acclaimed Boys Outside, which prompted Young to seek him out in the first place.[3] Having previously claimed chart success with a succession of downtempo pop ballads, Young felt making a record utilizing electronic rhythms and beats was the culmination of a long-held dream.[4] On his vision, he elaborated: "It's an album that I've wanted to do for about five years, and I've been waiting like a tiger, ready to pounce. You have to evolve as a pop artist. It's like being a magician: If you show all your best hands at the beginning, you have nothing left to reveal."[4]

While X would serve as the album's chief producer, Young collaborated and co-wrote songs with various writers, including Andy Cato from Groove Armada, Kish Mauve, Fred Falke, The Sound of Arrows, Richard Stannard, and Pascal Gabriel.[4] Musically, Young sought inspiration for Echoes from fellow UK dance-pop acts Pet Shop Boys, The Communards and Everything but the Girl,[5] stating that he "wanted to hark back to that type of sound with strong bass but also very melodic."[4] Aiming for a simple synthpop sound, Young added that "changing your sound is a tricky thing to do, but I think it's come about at the right time and from the right place. It's not a massive change, and it's very genuine."[5] When Richard X joined the project, 90 percent of the album had already been written.[6] With his producing partner Pete Hofmann, he finished some arrangements and tweaks on demoes before moving into the studio.[6] Studio sessions were heavily influenced by live recording, a breakaway from previous sessions.[6]

Promotion and release[edit]

The album artwork was revealed on 6 July 2011 on Young's official Facebook page, and later posted on Young's official website.[7] Teaser clips of several songs from the album were released by Young via Twitter shortly in advance of release.[8] A television special A Night With Will Young was aired on ITV on 27 August 2011.[9] The show featured Young performing a collection of new tracks from Echoes as well as a number of his biggest hits.[10] Beginning October 2011, Young embarked on this fifth headlining tour, the Echoes Tour to promote the album.[11]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[12]
BBC (favorable)[3]
Digital Spy 5/5 stars[13]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[14]
Evening Standard 4/5 stars[15]
Holy Moly 7/10 stars[16]
The Independent (unfavorable)[17]
musicOMH 4/5 stars[18]
The Scotsman 3/5 stars[19]
The Telegraph 3/5 stars[20]
Virgin Media 4/5 stars[21]

Echoes received generally positive reviews from music critics. Robert Copsey from Digital Spy rated the album five stars stars out of five and called it "a perfectly-crafted adult pop album; one that sounds contemporary without straw-clutching and classy without the pretension. The hands-in-the-air ballads "Lie Next to Me" and "Silent Valentine" prove that he's still the Will we've always known, just in a shinier, sharper and altogether more comfortable skin."[13] The Guardian writer Caroline Sullivan compared Echoes to the work of George Michael and the Pet Shop Boys. She found that "Young stamps his identity on [the songs] with vocals that convey the disenchantment of a rich young gay man who's just taken a long look at himself in the mirror. 'Classy' is the word that comes to mind all the way through these 13 songs."[14] Evening Standard's Rick Pearson complimented the album for its "playful, dancey quality" which he considered "a welcome change from the schmaltzy ballads that have characterised too much of Young's output."[15] He summed Echoes as "a daring musical makeover that will win Young many new fans."[15]

In his review for Allmusic, Jon O'Brien gave the album three and a half stars out of five and remarked that "few would have predicted that the UK'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.[12] He felt that the "13 highly personal tracks [...] largely eschew his trademark MOR blue-eyed soul in favor of an understated electro sound that perfectly fits his delicate and fragile vocals."[12] Ian Wade from BBC declared Echoes a "fantastic, perfectly crafted adult pop album for people who’ve long wondered if such a thing existed anymore. It deserves to be reasonably enormous. Bravo, Will."[3] musicOMH's Jude Clarke wrote that "this release is a clear illustration of why he has succeeded in transcending his origins. Now arguably one of the UK’s most authentic, honest and engaging stars, he is perhaps the first TV show alumnus to attain true Idol status.[18] She felt "what is immediately striking is the apparently intensely personal nature of much of the material [...] delivered in Young’s tuneful yet frequently vulnerable vocal."[18] James Lachno from The Telegraph noted that while "several anodyne tracks yearn for more vocal drama, overall an understated beauty permeates this well-crafted expansion of Young’s smooth adult pop."[20]

Commercial success[edit]

Upon its release, Echoes entered the UK Albums Chart at number one on 28 August 2011 with first-week sales of 66,000 copies, becoming Young's third album to do so following his first two albums From Now On (2001) and Friday's Child (2003).[22] The album was eventually certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales in excess of 100,000 copies, reaching platinum status on sales by December 2011.[23] By November 2012 the album had sold 489,500 copies in the UK alone.[4]

The first single to be released from the album was "Jealousy" on 19 August 2011.[24] The single peaked at number five in the UK,[25] becoming Young's highest charting hit since 2006. On 3 October 2011, it was announced Young would release "Come On" as the second single from the album, which is a cover of a 2009 single by Kish Mauve.[26] The single was immediately available to download, with an official date to be announced at a later date.[26] The single peaked at number 83 in the UK.[25] On 13 February 2012, the video for third single "Losing Myself" was posted on Young's YouTube page. It was officially released on 18 March 2012 and peaked at number 72.[25] "I Just Want a Lover" was released as the fourth official single on 1 July 2012 in the UK, but did not chart.

Tracklist[edit]

Tracklist[27]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Jealousy"   Will Young, Mima Stilwell, Jim Eliot Richard X, Eliot*, Pete Hofmann* 4:06
2. "Come On"   Stilwell, Eliot Richard X, Eliot*, Hofmann* 3:11
3. "Lie Next to Me"   Young, Stilwell, Eliot, Stefan Storm Richard X, Eliot*, Hofmann* 3:37
4. "I Just Want a Lover"   Young, Stilwell, Eliot Richard X, Eliot, Hofmann* 3:25
5. "Runaway"   Young, Donnie Sloan Richard X, Jonathan Sloan, Hofmann* 4:41
6. "Outsider"   Young, Dan Carey Richard X, Hofmann* 2:46
7. "Silent Valentine"   Young, Stilwell, Eliot Richard X, Eliot*, Hofmann* 3:59
8. "Losing Myself"   Young, Pascal Gabriel Richard X, Hofmann* 3:59
9. "Personal Thunder"   Young, Fred Falke, Richard Stannard Richard X, Falke*, Hofmann*, Stannard* 4:52
10. "Hearts on Fire"   Young, Stilwell, Eliot Richard X, Eliot*, Hofmann* 4:54
11. "Happy Now"   Young, Gabriel Richard X, Hofmann* 3:30
12. "Good Things"   Young, Andy Cato Richard X, Cato*, Hofmann* 4:12
13. "Safe from Harm"   Young, Stilwell, Eliot Richard X, Eliot*, Hofmann* 3:33

Charts & Certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
Ireland[31] 16 August 2011 CD, Digital download
United Kingdom[32][33] 19 August 2011 Digital download
22 August 2011 CD
Europe[34][35] 19 August 2011 Digital download
Germany[36][37]
9 September 2011 CD
Poland[38]
30 January 2012 CD/Digital Download (iplay.pl)
South Africa[39]
30 January 2012 CD

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Watson joins Young at Sandringham". BBC News. 26 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Wade, Ian (12 August 2011). "Will Young Echoes Review". BBC. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Smirke, Richard (19 September 2011). "9 Years After His Win, 'Pop Idol' Will Young Remains a Chart Force". Billboard. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Will Young ready to change sound". India Times. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Richard X Producer Interview". Miloco.co.uk. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Copsey, Robert (7 July 2011). "Will Young unveils 'Echoes' album cover". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Will's Album Artwork Unveiled!". Will Young. Sony Music Entertainment UK LTD. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/music/review-23975560-a-night-with-will-young-the-london-studios---review.do
  10. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a331610/will-young-to-host-a-night-with-itv-special.html
  11. ^ Corner, Lewis (4 July 2011). "Will Young announces UK and Ireland headline tour". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c O'Brien, Jon (2011). "Echoes - Will Young". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Copsey, Robert (22 August 2011). "Will Young: 'Echoes' - Album review". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (18 August 2011). "Will Young: Echoes - review". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c Pearson, Rick (19 August 2011). "CDs of the week: Will Young and Wretch 32". Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  16. ^ BeccaDP (11 August 2011). "Will Young Echoes: Will Young makes a new album with cool producers, it's nice". Holy Moly. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Montgomery, Hugh (21 August 2011). "Album: Will Young, Echoes (RCA)". The Independent. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c Clarke, Jude (2011). "Will Young - Echoes". musicOMH. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  19. ^ Scotsman Critics (23 August 2011). "Album reviews: Will Young - Lenny Kravitz - Hard-Fi - Classical - Jazz - Folk - World". The Scotsman. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Lachno, James (18 August 2011). "Will Young: Echoes, CD review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Gittins, Ian (2011). "Will Young: Echoes". Virgin Media. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  22. ^ Sperling, Daniel (28 August 2011). "Will Young's 'Echoes' debuts at album chart No.1". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  23. ^ McCafferty, Nicola (25 December 2011). "Will Young: I can die happy". Daily Star. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  24. ^ Corner, Lewis (11 July 2011). "Will Young premieres new single 'Jealousy': Listen". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  25. ^ a b c Chartstats UK (Will Young)
  26. ^ a b Corner, Lewis (3 October 2011). "Will Young announces new single 'Come On'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  27. ^ "The Will Young album is almost indescribably brilliant". Popjustice. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  28. ^ UK Albums Chart - week 28 August 2011
  29. ^ Irish Albums Chart - week 25 August 2011
  30. ^ "British album certifications – Will Young – Echoes". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Echoes in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  31. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/echoes/id450532729
  32. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/echoes/id450532729
  33. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00559BT0G
  34. ^ Spanish iTunes
  35. ^ French iTunes
  36. ^ German Amazon
  37. ^ German Amazon
  38. ^ Merlin.pl
  39. ^ Takealot.pl

External links[edit]