Album Review
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Lakes - The Agreement Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 8.75
Production 8.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 86%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.6
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 7.55
Production 7.35
Creativity 7.35
Lasting Value 6.95
Reviewer Tilt 7.73
Average: 74%
Inside AP.net

Lakes - The Agreement

Reviewed by: Thomas Nassiff (09/05/10)
Lakes - The Agreement
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: September 3, 2010

In the movie "The Blind Side", Sandra Bullock narrates a story about why the left tackle position on the offensive line is worth so much to a professional football team. The quarterback is usually the highest-paid player on a team and the most devastating to lose when injured. Most quarterbacks are right-handed, so the left tackle is the player that blocks for a quarterback's "blind side", or the area of the field where the quarterback can't see when he's looking to complete a pass. When a quarterback takes a vicious sack from his most vulnerable side, it can often rattle him or lead to devastating injury.

It isn't often that I am completely blindsided by a new release, but Lakes' The Agreement hit me like a sack of bricks. Following a pattern that has turned into something to expect throughout 2010, Seth Roberts and company have released a beautifully crafted record from a band that I previously had not listened to. Harking to the best of oldie rock and roll bands with a self-aware indie rock ambience, The Agreement lacks nothing in the instrumental department.

Lyrically, Roberts (formerly of Watashi Wa), gives a dose of real-life sadness with a dash of happiness thrown in for taste. The album starts out brisk with opener "Broadlyn". Both an accurate introduction to Lakes' sound and a standout track on The Agreement, "Broadlyn" gets listeners interested right from the outset. Now that you're paying attention, Lakes hit you with a splendid double-shot of continued cheerfulness. Perhaps the best track on the album, "The Heart Is An Anchor", is about being in love and the emotions that come with it. The song is highlighted by its gang-vocal bridge and leads into the quirky "Oh, Lovely". The perfect complement to its predecessor, this song tells upbeat stories of the things that you do with that special someone.

The Agreement
then hits a more serious emotional stance, with "The Feeling" showcasing melancholy lyrics guised by an upbeat rhythm. "Back In Your Head" has a more grandiose vibe with its sweeping chorus, a contrast to "Sweet Dream", which slowly plucks its way along. This album is one that perhaps deserves a track-by-track review, but if I mention every song, then not many would get to the end. While you might not read my entire review, hopefully you listen to enough of The Agreement to reach "It's You, It's Me". An emotional high on the record, Roberts forces you to fall in love with his voice if you haven't already.

The tempo slows down as we reach the end of the album's 14 tracks and 51 minute runtime, but Lakes never lose their charm. Every pulsing note on this record, every pluck of an acoustic guitar string or thump of a bass drum, feels like it is right where it belongs. The craftsmanship of the instrumentation on The Agreement will make music critics' ears smile, as songs like "The Tree" have every imaginable intangible and every necessary crescendo. At the same time, Roberts' voice and the accompanying musicianship of Jeremy Wells, Justin Sears, Matthew Covington, and Jacob Wick are accessible enough to please even the most casual of listeners.

The Agreement
is made for your headphones, late at night in bed, or your car stereo, driving down a dark road with your thoughts. Lakes put all they had into this record, as every song is accompanied by a nearly audible passion. It deserves not only your time and dollar, but your very vulnerability. You'll never see it coming.

Recommended If You LikeFootball analogies, bicycles, awesome indie rock. Clearly I am having trouble coming up with bands similar to Lakes, but you'll probably like this record if you enjoy rivers, puddles, and oceans.
Follow Me on TwitterWhy not, right?
Bare Essentials1. Broadlyn
2. The Heart Is An Anchor
3. Oh Lovely
4. The Ghost and the Man
5. The Feeling
6. Back In Your Head
7. Sweet Dream
8. Loose Fix
9. The Tree
10. When We Were Younger
11. It's You, It's Me
12. Lifting Me Up
13. The Agreement Song
14. I Was There
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 78
11:32 PM on 09/05/10
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Thomas Nassiff's Avatar
Readers will notice that my normal "Download These First" section has been replaced by a "Follow Me on Twitter" section. Mainly because I think that people should buy these albums instead of downloading songs off of Limewire or something. Do people still use Limewire? I doubt it. I haven't downloaded a record or a song like that in a pretty long while so I guess I'm not in-tune with it. It's also due to the fact that I'm in a mid-life Twitter crisis and I've decided that I need more followers.

Anyways, album is top ten of 2010 for me right now. Please listen to it and share this review or the record with your friends...anything to get this band some exposure.

Also, credit to aradiantsunrise for the rivers and oceans part of my RIYL.
11:38 PM on 09/05/10
Registered User
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rushour144's Avatar
Thanks for reviewing this Thomas!!! Watashi WA was an incredible band, so I am glad to see Roberts is continuing on with an even BETTER band!!!
11:41 PM on 09/05/10
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_all_star_me_'s Avatar
Nice! Glad you liked it man!
11:42 PM on 09/05/10
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DandonTRJ's Avatar
Purchasing as we speak. Er, type. Whatever. Just excited to finally hear this.
11:48 PM on 09/05/10
Nick Le
Yeezy taught me.
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Nick Le's Avatar
I need to go get this. Great review, Thomas -- it's pushing me to go get this album sooner than later, haha. Excited to listen nonetheless.

And I don't think people still use limewire and people shouldn't -- but mostly because limewire is terrible.
11:58 PM on 09/05/10
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anamericangod's Avatar
Fantastic album. Been playing it over and over and over. Need it on vinyl. Need a US tour.

I highly encourage everyone to check this album out. These guys might not generate attention like Anberlin, Valencia, and The Graduate have been lately, but by all means this is just as solid a release, if not more so.

I'll post my review soon.
12:14 AM on 09/06/10
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Thomas Nassiff's Avatar
Fantastic album. Been playing it over and over and over. Need it on vinyl. Need a US tour.

I highly encourage everyone to check this album out. These guys might not generate attention like Anberlin, Valencia, and The Graduate have been lately, but by all means this is just as solid a release, if not more so.

I'll post my review soon.
I wish it was being released on vinyl
12:14 AM on 09/06/10
We never met, you and I
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awakeohsleeper's Avatar
Need to get this.
12:17 AM on 09/06/10
Registered User
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andypyle's Avatar
if you ever get the chance to see these guys live, do yourself a favor and go. they are not to be missed. i was at the cd release show a few nights ago and i was blown away. i've seen them a lot because they all happen to be friends of mine, but that performance was by far the best i've seen in a long time.
12:22 AM on 09/06/10
Richard Maxim
Life: April Fools
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Richard Maxim's Avatar
God, I need to listen to this already. I love anything that Reminds me of the ocean, Atmospheric melodies and chords.
12:33 AM on 09/06/10
jmh // hth
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nonohjohn's Avatar
nice. i grew up with watashi wa so its good to see that seth is still putting out quality music. this band deserves a lot of attention.
01:14 AM on 09/06/10
...is "big" and "mike"
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bigmike's Avatar
Love Seth/Lakes/Watashi Wa/Eager Seas, so I'm stoked to give this a listen soon.

But that is absolutely the worst fucking intro to a review I've read. Jesus christ.
02:05 AM on 09/06/10
Chris Fallon
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Chris Fallon's Avatar
Hmm. Interesting bout of bold name syndrome. Whatever, I just came in here because I have missed Lakes. That EP was gold, Jerry - gold! Very excited to hear the progression here. Seth is a truly underrated talent.
02:12 AM on 09/06/10
i get what i want
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aradiantsunrise's Avatar
Really need to hear this. I'll probably buy it when i get some money in a few days.

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