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Hearts & Minds [CD]

Seth Lakeman Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: £6.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Hearts & Minds + Poor Man's Heaven + Tales From The Barrel House [CD + DVD]
Price For All Three: £22.35

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 July 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Virgin music
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,386 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Hearts & Minds 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Watchman 3:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Tiny World 3:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Spinning Days 3:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. See Them Dance 3:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Stepping Over You 4:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Changes 4:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Tender Traveller 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Hard Working Man 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Preacher's Ghost 4:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. The Circle Grows 3:38£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Ever since his Mercury Prize nomination for Kitty JayM in 2005, Seth Lakeman has cut a striking figure in conventional folk circles. Loved by traditionalists for his characterful voice and mastery of the fiddle, banjo and viola, his ear for pop melodies–and his good looks–have also won him a faithful wider audience. Five albums into his career, Hearts and Minds follows the lead of 2008's Poor Man's Heaven, which introduced rockier rhythms and pace to his music. But now he has gone even further–so much so that he now hardly sounds like a folk artist at all.

The title-track begins the album with a bang. Fierce, heavy drums and a thick, dirty bassline ­– played by a barely recognisable, growling violin–drives its head-banging beat. Lakeman tells us to "rise up" and feel the "weight of the government's hands", with his protest sounding much more like the work of Muse than Ewan MacColl. "The Watchmen" is a hymn to escapism full of "come ons" and "yeah yeah yeahs", while "Tender Traveller" builds cacophonies of double-stopped strings and struck banjos, as Lakeman sings about "choking" and things "closing in". His statements about Hard Working Men and Preacher's Ghosts can sound heavy-handed, and not unlike the songs of Mumford & Sons. Nonetheless, the way in which acoustic instruments are used to create intensity is very impressive, with the production work of Tchad Blake (whose credits include Tom Waits, Crowded House and Elvis Costello) deserving of praise.

Lakeman's songs are better when they are simpler and gentler, however. "Tiny World"'s lovely lyrics about a girl he's left behind for seven years–with "a full heart and a heavy breeze"–lead beautifully into a chorus which is warm, yet anthemic. "Stepping Over You" shows how moving his playing can be when it is given space to shimmer, while "Changes" uses pizzicato and col legno effects–plucked strings and bows being struck against the wood of an instrument–to create fascinating yet accessible and very lively textures. If Lakeman truly wants to be entertaining and innovative in the future, he would do well to follow this path, rather than revel in rocky rowdiness that will soon tire of clamour.

--Jude Rogers

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully a grower 31 July 2010
Format:Audio CD
I have loved all Seth's previous albums and have seen him live and so I was full of anticipation over the release of Hearts and Minds. I am hoping it will grow on me because, after owning it for a week, I am still disappointed.

What I liked about Seth Lakeman was the evocative lyrics and tunes routed in folk tradition. When I hear songs like Bold Knight, Kitty Jay, Lady of the Sea, I'll Haunt You, The Hurlers I get wonderful pictures in my head. The songs on Hearts and Minds just don't grab me in the same way.

Hearts and Minds feels like sub-Billy Bragg whinging but with violins and mandolins. On previous albums I have been singing along by the second hearing, a week into this one and I can't even hum a single tune.

In my opinion the album is also over-produced and over-orchestrated, lacking the rawness of previous efforts.

In conclusion I hope this is an experimental aberration and not a change of direction for Seth Lakeman.

On the same day I bought Peter Bradley Adams "Traces". Currently I am preferring that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Seth Lakeman is undoubtedly a major talent. Along with Spiers and Boden he is at the forefront of the current folk scene, turning out albums that will appeal to a wide audience.

In his first four albums he has moved further from his initially trademark raw, driving, folk sound bringing added and depth to the music. Poor Man's Heaven, the predecessor to this album, is perhaps his finest effort to date, being a classic mix of raw folk roots with poppier overtones.

Here however, I feel he has travelled a little too far. The album opens well enough with the driving drums of Hearts and Minds, with a suitable angry, energised edge to it. But then the album drifts a little. The songwriting and musicianship is good, but the production feels a bit too lush and overdone, robbing the album of its passion and the power to grab the attention of the listener. It's good stuff, don't get me wrong, but in comparison to the five star albums that preceded it, it's not good enough. Four stars.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of reviews 24 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After reading reviews in the music press and on Amazon I avoided buying Hearts and Minds for a while. Most were negative. How wrong! So glad I gave in and pressed the 'buy' button. It is different from all his other cd's but it is not a disappointment. I love the rawness of the early work from Punch Bowl to Freedom Fields and Freedom Fields will always be my favorite ( better than the repressing as Lady of the Sea) So good to hear him grow and develope as an artist. I love the passion and production on this new cd and the anthem of Hearts and Minds. So, take no notice of reviews and trust your heart. If you like strong music with its heart in the right place treat yourself.
( I do not understand why people take the time to write bad reviews. OK, if you can make better music yourself then fine. But why whine about your disappointment. Just pass the cd on to someone else who might like it and remember that musicians are people, that music takes a long time to craft, that artists grow and change and develope, and that negativity can bring a heart down.)
I look forward to hearing what comes next from Seth Lakeman, and long to hear him really let rip with that wild devil's violin of his.Hearts & Minds
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Ignoring the previous contributor's nonsensical, misguided 'review' - let's take a look at the actual music shall we? Following on from the distinctly patchy Poor Man's Heaven, 'Hearts and Minds' marks not only a return to form, but a true progression for one of the UK's most promising young artists.

The album opens with a couple of more traditional Lakeman numbers - both 'Hearts and Minds' and 'The Watchman' offer nothing new or surprising. However from 'Tiny World' onwards, the music begins to unfold, showing subtle textures and offering welcome twists with surprising regularity. From the melodic layers of 'Spinning Days' and jazzy inflections of 'Changes' through to the album's epic closer 'The Circle Grows' (John Martyn anyone?) , this is the unmistakable sound of a young artist growing in both confidence and songwriting ability.

Ther fact that Lakeman manages all of this whilst still staying true to his roots is testament to his enduring talent, both as a performer and songwriter. Without doubt this is an album which bears repeated listening - offering up something new every time. A new and welcome direction then, but more of the same great modern folk music. Outstanding effort.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Close but no Cigar 26 July 2010
Format:Audio CD
I have been a loyal fan of Seth Lakeman for quite a few years now and have found a total all embracing love for all 4 of his previous albums. I had heard the majority of the tracks on the album as these have been trailed at live gigs since March 2009. Live they all have that indefinable Lakeman magic, not all translate as well onto a studio album.

For me the standout tracks are Preachers Ghost, The Watchman and these tracks are what Seth and the band do best, atmospheric, punchy and full of mystery. I love the title track and as a opener to a gig it is knockout and Hard Working Man is fabulous as well. There a couple that over time I think I will end up skipping over, Tiny World and Changes. It isn't as good as the previous albums but it marks a change of song writing direction for Seth with more political and personal statements being made, this is a good thing.

Overall though I am not sure that the production works and for me that lack of a cohesive thread that has marked out the other albums stops it being a five star album.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant...
Brilliant... I love Seth Lakeman and this is one of his best. I cannot say any more than this. It reflects his concerts very well.
Published 4 months ago by bmcream
5.0 out of 5 stars great music
A fabulous musician and we have lots of his music. Really enjoyed this one too when will the next appear?
Published 17 months ago by maggie hallsworth
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
making people write long reviews on ggod they receive is in my opinion expecting a lot. surely just a simple word comment is enough??
Published 19 months ago by Ms. Julie A. Renyard
5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Lakeman Superstar
Came across Seth Lakeman on Sky Arts. Was so impressed went straight on to Amazon and bought every one of his albums in one go. Read more
Published on 7 July 2011 by V. Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars The Problem with Hearts and Minds
I am a big fan of Seth's; Freedom Fields is one of my very favourite discs, and the reasons why I rate that record tie in with my disappoinment of Hearts and Minds. Read more
Published on 9 May 2011 by G. Kimpton
5.0 out of 5 stars My Kind of Folk Music
I'm not a great fan of folk music but this guy combines tradition with his own modern twist to tell stories with his music in a unique way. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2011 by Paul Hutchings
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great album from Seth
I always expect Seth to bring out a duff album for some reason, like how could he keep this up..?? But he always delivers something exceptional , love it!!
Published on 18 Mar 2011 by BookWorm v CodeMonkey
1.0 out of 5 stars boring
If you like this album you will like the others as they sound the same. Before people start having ago i thought Kitty Jay was a good album but now he is trying to repeat the same... Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2011 by hickman
3.0 out of 5 stars Hearts and Minds..
Style wise its not miles away from "Freedom Fields," but its just a bit to contrived for my liking, the production a bit too slick a bit to crisp in places. Read more
Published on 9 Dec 2010 by Jimmy Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what the title suggests
I've just returned from Sheperds Bush where Seth & the guys were performing live quite a number of these new songs & they went down a storm. Read more
Published on 7 Dec 2010 by djlclover
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