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.