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Lakes - 'The Constance' Album Review


1. Constance 2. Reindeer 3. Geneva 4. Placid 5. Ontario 6. Tahoe 7. Baikal 8. Lucerne 9. Como

10. Erie

I’m really not sure what to make of this album. There are some nice touches to some of the songs, some bits when it feels like it’s about to soar away and take you with it but I didn’t walk away from listening to it thinking I can’t wait to listen to that again, with some exceptions noted later in this review.

Every one of the songs has parts to it that made me think this is going somewhere quite interesting but too few of them delivered consistently enough. It’s almost like, for many of the songs, they couldn’t hit on a good idea and stay there but had to keep tinkering to prove how talented they are.

There are times when the playing is beautiful or intriguing and other times when the singing or the lyrics stand out, there just aren’t enough points when it all comes together. I couldn’t quite work out why as all the elements are here, it really feels like it should be a better album than it is. This is clearly a talented band who have a lot going for them, maybe they need to get back to basics and focus on writing quality songs that have some consistency and work as pieces of music on their own, at times they manage it, it’s just not consistent enough.

I did like the fact that each of the songs is named after a lake, that is a nice touch. There is clearly a lot of thought that’s gone into this album and a lot of work.

I tried to get into it, I really did, as it sounded like something I should really enjoy, like something, if it worked properly, I could have grown to love but it didn’t make either my heart or my mind soar often enough with some notable exceptions. What I will do is walk away from it and listen to it again in a few months time to see if I get it that time. On the whole the latter songs on the album worked for me more than the first few songs.

The best song on the album, as far as I’m concerned is 'Como', it felt more like a band at ease with themselves and making music they wanted to make while remembering it has to work for other people as well. The next best songs were 'Baikal', 'Lucerne' and 'Ontario' all of which worked better as bodies of work in their own right. If the album had consisted of more songs like these then I suspect it would have been much more enjoyable. If these songs are a sign of where the band is going then I’m very much interested, they are all contenders for being added to a playlist at some point.

It may be that it’s just me that doesn’t get the album as a whole. I think you should listen to this for yourself and make your own mind up, unfortunately, for me, too much of it just won’t be finding it’s way onto any of my playlists.

Review - Iain McClay

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