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Elk-Lake Serenade

2 customer reviews

Price: £9.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

Elk-Lake Serenade + Closer I Get + Everything I Long for
Price For All Three: £35.92

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Aug. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Loose Music
  • ASIN: B00024753E
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,818 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Wide Eyes
2. Home by Saturday
3. Woody
4. This Summer
5. Hollywood Ending
6. Robbed Blind
7. Killbear
8. Through the Rads
9. Starting Over
10. Don't Get Down
11. Roll Down That Wave
12. My Wife
13. 1939
14. Elk-Lake Serenade
15. Looking Back to Me

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "lexussoarer" on 16 Jan. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Proving that there is still real wonder to be found when a man sits down with a guitar, Toronto's Hayden Dresser manages a lovely mixture of styles, from Leonard Cohen to Neil Young. Hauntingly melancholic, but never maudlin, with a few lighter moments (like a more folk-y Joseph Arthur), this is an album that just feels right, like a worn-in pair of shoes. Hayden has never had the luxury of a 'buzz' around him - whereas a so-so talent like Willy Mason will make it big this year, Elk-Lake Serenade unfortunately will remain a gem that you may have to search for. Gentle, uplifting, intelligent and characterful, this album is a masterpiece. If your tastes go more towards Iron and Wine and Sufjan Stevens, Hayden is going to please you so much - the man is a real storyteller.
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By Journey of the giant on 13 Jan. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Move aside Bill Callahan. An unearthed diamond in the dirt, Hayden offers us a hushed resonance and songwriting mastery beyond many of his (unworthy) peers. His style sits comfortably alongside the best work of Damien Jurado, Roger Dean Young, Richard Buckner and Jeffrey Foucalt. A wonderful laconic delivery - on some tracks you almost expect his throaty crackling vocal to turn to tears, so raw is his emotion. Stand out tracks include Woody, 1939 and My Wife. A wondrous piece of work, putting us to shame that mediocre artists like Willy Mason et al are awarded more opportunity to have their music heard
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A touching, beautiful, profoundly moving album 28 Mar. 2006
By Robert Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I honestly don't know how I found out about this guy. It may have been through one of those online expeditions that I sometimes undertake in search of new music. However I learned of Hayden, it resulted in my looking for a copy here on Amazon and buying it without ever even having heard the guy. I can't express how extremely happy I am to have taken a chance on this. My next order on Amazon will be for the bulk of his catalog. I simply have to hear more of this guy.

Hayden Desser is a miniaturist. Whitman claimed to see God in every object and in a way Desser sees something marvelous in small things. His songs are focused on very distinct moments, easily demarcated moments. In one song he asks a woman to hold him so that his old girlfriend will be jealous when she sees them, but finds he can't be bothered to see if his girlfriend sees them when he holds this woman. He writes a song about how happy he is that his cat loves the spring. On a scarier level he sings of how he would have acted differently when his old love and her new lover were attacked camping by a grizzly bear. He sings of meeting a movie star who is filming a movie outside his house. Throughout all he expresses deep emotions, almost always soft, caring, reflective emotions. Once he does almost get angry, when his wife's former boyfriend visits them and is obviously regretful that he didn't stay with her. But even then the most he can bring himself to express is that he doesn't like the guy and wants him to leave.

Many people have made comparisons between Hayden and the acoustic Neil Young. They sound vaguely similar, but there is less of an edge to Hayden (at least on this album), and a far greater delicacy in his songwriting. In some ways Hayden reminds me of Sam Beam aka Iron and Wine. Both writers are deeply poetical in their lyrics, both are acoustic, and both have gentle voices. Hayden, however, is a far more subjective songwriter, always focusing on mood and emotion, while Beam is willing to explore a greater range of subject matter. I would love to see the Canadian and the Floridian perform together. They truly do seem kindred spirits.

My favorite song on the album is one of the most positive, life-affirming songs I've heard in a long time, "Don't Get Down." The sentiments expressed on the song are not terribly deep, but they are deeply moving because they sound so unforced and so sincere. He starts off simply:

Don't get down
Don't waste time on things you can't ever change
I know we all do

Somehow that affirmation that we all get down on ourselves for things we can't change or for hanging out with people we don't even like is made marvelous by that little phrase, "I know we all do," which makes the song both sympathetic and comforting at the same time and makes the singer part of the same fraternity. The song closes with the wonderful admonition:

And find something that will make you feel
Like every day's too short

In other words, make the most of life while you can. This is just one of the many gorgeous moments on this album. It seems sometimes to me that our world is, at least in terms of music, a bizarro world like in the old Superman comics, where everyone seems to like terrible stuff and hates truly wonderful things. I've never understood how people like Dave Matthews can achieve stardom while vastly more talented individuals like Hayden or Eleventh Dream Day or Iron and Wine remain only marginally successful. This simply does not make any sense to me. In the meantime, before the aesthetic revolution takes place, if you love truly great, instead of merely popular, music, please do yourself and get this album.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Hayden Elk-Lake Serenade 24 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the sixth album by Hayden and by far his most upbeat and rootsy but at the same time reflective and honest and engaging. I recently saw him LIVE and this is a great way to appreciate him. Wait till you hear Home By Saturday, what a romantic yet straightahead song. 15 heartfelt songs and even some strings and pedal steel as well as Hayden's trademark lovely piano and guitar, a most mellifluous man. This is my fave Hayden disc and I love 'em all. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Elk Lake Serenade- Hayden 23 Aug. 2004
By Eyes Have Miles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Having been a fan for some ten years now, I can say that I grew up listening to Hayden. The Closer I Get had heavy play time when I first learned to drive, his follow up EP, Moving Careful, reminds me of my first girlfriend. Subsequent releases each have their own personal sentiments for me as I grew up and moved out. That is why I think his music is so memorable- it evokes such emotion in the listener because Hayden sings as if it is only he who can hear it. Elk Lake combines the roughshod melancholy of his earlier work with a new zeal and lightheartedness. One can only imagine how this musical evolution has come to be- Hayden is a very private individual, content to let his work stand on its own, without any interpretation from the author. Elk Lake expands Hayden's repetoire of instruments, it takes up where Skyscraper left off, and is a stunning testament to his musical genius. Those of you who can, please, see Hayden in concert. There you will experience his music in a fuller and more vibrant form than can be captured on CD. If not, buy the vinyl LP. I think the author would agree with me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great 19 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Musically, more upbeat than Skyscraper National Park; great all the way through.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful... as ususal! 1 Feb. 2006
By S. Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A wonderful addition to the Hayden repetoir. This is a fantastic album as are all of his other albums. If you have a chance to see him live it's well worth it.
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