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Davis, California

Tuesday, October 19, 2021



Oh, The Places We’ll Go

K Records


Rating: 5


In the tradition of K Records, Lake’s bubbly charm translates into a good time on Oh, The Places We’ll Go.

The record could fall under many headings, such as pajama pop, sloppy pop, or it could be simply deemed adorable pop. Opening with the album’s title track, a repetitive chant of “oh, the places we’ll go/we don’t actually know” best describes the happy-go-lucky, carefree attitude of the record.

Lake doesn’t pull any tricks on the ear – all the instrumentation is simple and honest. An occasional electronic sound is triggered, adding to the consistent guitar, bass and varying percussion effects. The style of the album is a throwback to early Architecture in Helsinki, reminiscent of albums like Fingers Crossed, stripped of obnoxious vocals and over-the-top silliness.

The album’s would-be single, “Blue Ocean Blue” drives this point home. A careful and imaginative listen would bring one to believe the song was recorded live, just once, with all of Lake clapping along and stomping on the floor to keep the beat. Other songs on the album also have this type of tempo, using drumsticks and reindeer-like bells as an extra touch.

Achieving a middle ground between too bland and too busy is rough, but “Bad Dream” hits the spot. It’s a bluesy, down-tempo abstraction of conventional arrangement. Female reverberated vocals smooth over the cyclic song, with horns popping in every so often so ridiculously akin to early Broken Social Scene that the comparison is unavoidable.

Just like that band, Lake shares the spotlight among its members on songs to put together a well-rounded album, using the bookend approach with a funkier reprise of the title track to close. Oh, The Places We’ll Go doesn’t invent anything new or edgy, but who can get enough of a good thing?

Lake will be playing with Desolation Wilderness and Ellie Fortune at Luigi’s Fun Garden in Sacramento tonight.


— Nicole L. Browner


Give these tracks a listen: “Blue Ocean Blue,” “On the Swing”

For fans of: Belle & Sebastian, Karl Blau, Architecture in Helsinki


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