LAKES The Agreement (Self-released)
I found Watashi Wa’s Love of Life album to be one of the best of its kind when it was released in 2003. Memorable tunes with the requisite punk energy – it remains one of my favorite albums of all time.
Seth Roberts was the main man in Watashi Wa and Lakes is his latest venture, in the wake of Watashi Wa’s demise. And although the tunes and Roberts’ Sting-channeling vocals are retained, the entire musical approach has been revamped somewhat.
Gone are the superficial post-punk elements (i.e. mainly guitar chord patterns and rhythms) to be replaced by more traditional pop-rock stylings – which makes for an enjoyable sonic experience all around.
And I would highly recommend this independently released effort to any music lover who looks beyond superficial genre labels and desires to be satisfied by mature songwriting. On this count, The Agreement delivers in spades. If you happen to be familiar with “Christian worship” rock, then you’ll be totally comfortable with many of the more anthemic tracks like Broadlyn and Lifting Me Up.
Not that you have to share the faith to get into The Agreement, so don’t be frightened by that description. In fact, I wager that more than anything else, if you are a fan of Sting, then The Agreement is fairly indispensable and I’m not being facetious by saying that this may be the best album Sting has not released in years! (And yes, coming from a huge Police/Sting fan, that is a compliment!)
There is a rustic quality in songs like The Heart Is An Anchor, Sweet Dream and It’s You It’s Me that warms the heart. That said, Lakes do know how to rock and rousing material like The Feeling, Back In Your Head (which recalls King of Pain!) and The Tree will allow you to exercise your dance reflex.
I must confess that since the highs of Love of Life, I’ve been waiting for Roberts to thrill me again and I’m so pleased that with The Agreement, Roberts and company have delivered on that promise. Let this sweet music touch and move you too.
(Thanks to Sameer for the heads up!)
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