- Audio CD (May 11 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Universal Music Canada
- ASIN: B00024IEUC
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,157 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Elk Lake Serenade
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Is it any accident that all of Hayden Desser's album covers are earth tones? Chocolate browns, grassy greens, warm hues in the shades of faded-out polaroids decorate all of them. That same visual consistency applies to his music; pick up a Hayden disc and you're guaranteed to get an earful of acoustic guitar twang, harmonica swoop and softness. Acoustic Neil Young comparisons have followed him since the beginning, but ultimately, Young's song "Helpless" can best explain Hayden's appeal; fragile yet warm vocals accompanied by steel string resonance, combined with moments of space and quiet, these qualities are all parts of what makes Hayden great.
Elk-Lake Serenade contains all the consistencies guaranteed to charm; spots where he whispers musical secrets in your ear (the lullaby-like "Wide Eyes" and "Starting Over", a tale of impetuous desire), or sings full-throated upbeat charms, like the Cuban-influenced single "Hollywood Ending". Thankfully, there are also the trademark twisted folk tales, including the melodically beautiful "Killbear", a story about a man watching his wife get mauled by an animal attack. The juxtaposition of Hayden¹s languid, lovely melodies mixed with Twin Peaks-esque tales make the surreal numbers that much more captivating.
An adoring fan base has blossomed organically over the ten years that he has been performing, and this new material continuing to subtly evolve in beauty and orchestration without becoming overdone will no doubt add to the appeal of Hayden¹s longevity. While many comparisons have been made, ultimately, there is no one out there singing and writing songs like these subtle charmers. --Denise Sheppard
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