So, I mentioned in my recent post about phrase-boundary embellishments that I had a pile of thoughts about echoes I was trying not to get distracted by just then. I have saved them for today’s post, and actually find that some of them have come into focus in the light of that last one.
One of my earliest realisations as an arranger was that over-using echoes leads you to feel, when you sing the chart, a bit like a parrot. (I can date this as one of my earliest thoughts on the craft as I can remember where I was when I had it, and I moved out of that flat in 1998.) The thing is, echoes, are awfully tempting to use in rhythmic songs, as by their nature they give you rhythmic propulsion in a style and feel that fits the song.
Also, by definition, echoes are inherently backward looking embellishments, so there is something of a conflict of feel here already, asking a device that’s all about the phrase you’ve just left behind to give you forward motion.