Seth Lakeman

Poor Man's Heaven

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You can't deny the success Seth Lakeman had with his previous release, Freedom Fields -- for a folkie, it was a real breakout, and one he's tried to capitalize on with this album. He's certainly gone for a sound that's more polished, and aimed at the arena rather than the folk club. His backing band is certainly more rock, and there's an edge to his own fiddle playing, while hearing him on the title cut it's impossible not to be reminded of Robert Plant, who's used folk music himself in the past. He draws from his home region for lyrics, with "Solomon Browne" putting a 1980s lifeboat disaster into a traditional-style ballad. Lakeman has the folk background, but on the basis of this and its predecessor, he wants to use that as a springboard to the mainstream. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, unless one were to question Lakeman's move further away from his roots toward something like singer/songwriter heaven.

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