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Hearts & Minds
     

Hearts & Minds

by Seth Lakeman
 
One of a select few traditional British folk artists to cross over to the mainstream, chisel-featured banjo, fiddle, and tenor guitar player Seth Lakeman became the genre's poster boy following his Mercury Music Prize nomination for second album Kitty Jay back in 2004. Since then he's risked alienating

Overview

One of a select few traditional British folk artists to cross over to the mainstream, chisel-featured banjo, fiddle, and tenor guitar player Seth Lakeman became the genre's poster boy following his Mercury Music Prize nomination for second album Kitty Jay back in 2004. Since then he's risked alienating his initial captive audience with a series of records, each of which has distanced him further from his humble shoestring-budget beginnings. Following the James Blunt-esque AOR leanings on 2006's commercial breakthrough Freedom Fields, and the polished rock sound displayed on 2008's Top Ten hit Poor Man's Heaven, his fifth studio album, Hearts & Minds, is unlikely to silence the naysayers who believe he's abandoned his roots. Indeed, while his early output often evoked the vintage sea shanties of Ewan MacColl and Celtic sounds of Martin Carthy, these 11 self-penned tracks, produced by Tchad Blake (Crowded House, Tom Waits), have much more in common with the increasingly popular nu-folk of contemporary acts like Mumford & Sons and Noah and the Whale. The lo-fi "See Them Dance" is a hypnotic blend of garage rock rhythms, an infectious singalong chorus, and a Jimi Hendrix-style psychedelic violin solo; "Stepping Over You" is a melancholic acoustic pop ballad featuring Bellowhead's Benji Kirkpatrick on banjo duties; and "Hard Working Man" is a rabble-rousing anthem that recalls the socially conscious anti-folk of Billy Bragg. Only the brooding minimal closing track, "The Circle Grows," and the plucked pizzicato string-led "Changes" showcase his previous trademark stripped-back timeless sound. The tales of West Country folklore and mystical legends that characterized his early career have also been eschewed in favor of lyrics centering on both autobiographical themes such as long-lost love (the Levellers-esque "Tiny World") and relevant modern-day issues like the financial crisis (the thumping prog rock-inspired title track). Hearts & Minds therefore may be a more personal affair, while his impressive multi-instrumental abilities and passionate delivery are still here in abundance, but overall, it lacks both the rawness and originality of his earlier work that helped him to stand out in the congested singer/songwriter crowd.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/06/2010
Label:
Emi Import
UPC:
5099964120522
catalogNumber:
6412052

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Seth Lakeman   Primary Artist,Violin,Viola,Vocals,Guitar (Tenor)
Tchad Blake   Harmonica,Piano
Ged Lynch   Percussion
Sean Lakeman   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Benji Kirkpatrick   Banjo,Bouzouki,Harmonica,Mandolin,Vocals
Cormac Byrne   Percussion,Cajon
Dean Brodrick   Piano
Ben Nicholls   Electric Bass,Steel Guitar,Jew's Harp,Vocals,Double Bass
Simon Lea   Percussion,Drums
Olivia Chaney   Harmonium,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Tchad Blake   Producer,Engineer
Ed Lewis   Engineer
Mark Chadwick   Composer
Seth Lakeman   Composer
Rebecca Edwards   Artwork
Ruarri Joseph   Composer
Mario Hugo   Sleeve Illustration
Simon Helm   Artwork
Tim Cresswell   Band Photo
Richard Welland   Artwork

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