After emerging from the Athens, GA psychedelic pop world of the 90’s Great Lakes relocated to Brooklyn New York leaving their whimsical pop tunes behind. With a new home, Ben Crum made the decision to take his music into a darker direction writing songs that were a bit more substantial and personable. Once again enlisting the services of peers Suzanne Nienaber, Kevin Shea, David Lerner and Joe McGinty Great Lakes set out on a course that would lead toWild Vision.
The songs on Wild Vision find Crum and friends at a place in life that seems comfortable. Crum’s writing has evolved and the songs resonate this. The soothing “Kin to the Mountain”blends beautiful melodies paired with the vocal harmonies of Crum & Nienaber as they sing about life. Each song on the record stands out because of something different. “Nature Is Always True” is an enjoyable track loaded with jaunty guitars and sweet pedal steel that swirl around Crum’s haunting vocals. The up tempo “Beauties of the Way” provides a 70’s vibe vacant of the soothing country flavors of many of the tunes. On “Swim the River” Great Lakes delivers a soothing soundscape built with multiple layers of sound that all complement each other. A song that really catches listener’s ears is “Wild Again”. This track builds with intensity before exploding into a wild guitar orgy at the end. It encompasses all that is good about Great Lakes music.
Wild Vision is an album that seems simple with songs about relationships and complications of life but when you peel back the surface it is obvious there is much more there. Crum’s words sometimes take a back seat to the marvelous arrangements that flow around and through them so be sure to absorb what he has to say. Great Lakes is an entity that has evolved from a band playing music that was fun to a band playing music with meaning and substance. Hit play, turn up the volume and get lost in the music.