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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Lake

Ouch!

Review by Gary Hill

If the world were fair, then Lake would have been superstars. This German outfit had a sound that was just so perfect for the pop rock crowd on the 1970s. They were kind of like a cross between Supertramp and Toto and never recorded a weak song. This album is one of their better ones, but they were all great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Celebrate

A quick paced piano part starts this and the rest of the band join in a few measures. This is trademark Lake, and it’s also quite strong. The vocal arrangement is exceptionally strong and this is just plain great 1970s rock music that feels a bit like Supertramp meets Elton John and Pablo Cruise.

Come On Home
The arrangement here is a bit more stripped down. Otherwise it’s rather similar to the previous number. It’s a dramatic tale lyrically and the music is catchy.
Listen To Me
You’ve never heard a song about organized labor that sounded this good before. It’s kind of like a cross between Supertramp and Toto and there is a distinctive jazz flavor to it. There’s also a tasty guitar solo mid-track.
Amigo
This is a mellow number that’s basically a Lake ballad. It’s pretty and well in keeping with the rest of the music here.
Jamaica High
They start this one in mellow tones that seem like a continuation of the previous piece. It shifts out to a more energized, rather funky arrangement from there. This doesn’t have the energy of some of the earlier pieces, but it’s definitely a step up in terms of vitality from the cut that came right before it. The chorus is a bit more involved.
Living For Today
Another fun one, this feels a bit like Toto and Supertramp. It’s got more energy than some of the other music, but isn’t a real powerhouse. While this is one of the weaker numbers on show here, it’s still very strong. That is an indication of just how great a band Lake were at that time. Some of the guitar soloing sounds a bit like Steve Howe.
Something Here
Bouncy and a little funky, this is another that’s sort of weak compared to the rest of the stuff, but more as an indication of how strong everything else is than any weakness on the part of this number.
Hit Your Mama
This is another bouncy rocker. It’s got some instrumental work that’s quite progressive rock like. It’s a step up from the last couple tunes. It feels so cheery for a song about physical abuse. Some of the guitar work on this calls to mind the Allman Brothers a bit.
Southern Nights
A balladic piece, there are no real surprises here, but this is very tasty nonetheless. It’s a great piece of music and one of the highlights of the set. It reminds me a bit of Elton John’s “Burn Down the Mission.”
 
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