Great Lakes

Great Lakes

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From a purely critical standpoint, one can't help but wish that sooner or later, a new Elephant 6 release will dramatically differ from its predecessors in either quality or chemical makeup if for no other reason than the opportunity to use a different set of adjectives and reference points in discussing the record's merits (or relative lack thereof); nevertheless, the Great Lakes' self-titled debut is another worthy addition to the label's ever-expanding output, a luminous paean to late-'60s psych-pop crafted with obvious skill and affection. Among fellow E-6'ers, Great Lakes hew most closely to the pop classicism of the Apples in Stereo (whose Robert Schneider mixed the album) and the Essex Green, favoring a sunny, carnival-esque approach that lends the band's buoyant melodies a vividly psychedelic patina; nothing new there, granted, but still it never ceases to amaze how so many records can sound so similar and yet so consistently great.

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