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Men Of Lake - Men of Lake CD (album) cover


Men Of Lake


Eclectic Prog

3.32 | 29 ratings

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3 stars Lush organ (and other keyboard) driven prog in an old majestic style reminiscent at times of Procol Harum, King Crimson, and even VDGG and the Moody Blues, the music of Men at Lake matches all of the above when at its best. Even though that is only for about half of their debut, you may agree that this is more than most groups can muster. My review is based on the CD reissue.

The first highlight is track 3, "The Traveller", which does not let up for 7 minutes. Apart from Men of Lake's skills with the basic song structure, it features both keyboard and guitar solos of pure joy. They are also masters at mixing in the vocals in an appealing way, so that they really are more of an additional instrument. Then we have Rolling Globe, the shortest track on the album at 4:35, that features more grinding organ, a Moody Blues-ish middle 8, and an emotional chorus. "Any Place any Time" and "Immigrant's Complaint" are both bonus tracks on the CD but are both among the highlights. In particular, "Immigrant's Complaint", as the longest on the CD, is like a song within a song, and that middle section is the best on the entire disk, the lead guitar over the rich keyboard backing and drums being simply spellbinding. So, although Men of Lake is definitely keyboard oriented, they would not be nearly as good without their guitars.

Then you have the flipside, that very harsh psychedelic style with limited melodic value, exemplified by the darker side of the album, proof positive that some styles are best left in the late 1960s, as shown on "Abele's Garden". "Walking Along the Rhine" has its moments but plods along a bit too much, admittedly bursting into a great chorus, something at which MOL have tended to excel. "I don't want to know" and "October Night" round out the filler, if you will.

If you want to explore the full evolution of this group over 3 albums, start here. Otherwise I would recommend the follow up, "Out of the Water", for its more fluid approach.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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