Elk-Lake Serenade Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: A bit more upbeat-sounding than its predecessors, 'Elk-Lake Serenade' is the fourth studio disc for Toronto singer-songwriter Hayden Desser (who draws frequent Neil Young comparisons, and not just for being Canadian).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Built on acoustic guitars with little splashes of color like handclaps, tooting horn sections, and subtle strings, the record sounds remarkably large in its smallness.
  2. 82
    A beautifully wrought collection of ballads for the brokenhearted. [#11, p.96]
  3. It's definitely nothing like the laid-back experience of listening to him live, but it's his best album yet.
  4. 80
    Hayden's delicate little songs are potent, precious things indeed. [Oct 2004, p.110]
  5. The overarching narrative structure and sequencing make this album a well-conceived exercise in storytelling.
  6. Although the record is saved from complete disaster with its musical accompaniments... Elk-Lake Serenade is outrageously lonely and cumbersome.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. JamieK
    Jul 29, 2004
    10
    This album offers more range than previous works - at times showing new emotional upsides while staying true to familiar Hayden form. Woody This album offers more range than previous works - at times showing new emotional upsides while staying true to familiar Hayden form. Woody (a cheerful song about his cat), and My Wife (an odd electrical upbeat, almost radio-friendly song about divorce) are two noteable picks from this new bag of tricks from Hayden. Expand
  2. Peej
    Mar 22, 2007
    10
    This is a great album from an accomplished singer/songwriter.
  3. AllenT
    Jul 11, 2004
    9
    Everytime I listen to 'Elk..' I get goosebumps and imagine sitting aside a campfire with Hayden and some friends while he tells his Everytime I listen to 'Elk..' I get goosebumps and imagine sitting aside a campfire with Hayden and some friends while he tells his stories with such beautiful music. Expand
  4. EmrahS
    Mar 14, 2006
    9
    Great !
  5. LawrenceP
    Jun 28, 2005
    8
    I think this is his best effort yet.
  6. JimD
    Jul 6, 2004
    6
    This was my first Hayden purchase; I bought it without having heard any songs on the album. Its an OK album, but a lot of the songs run This was my first Hayden purchase; I bought it without having heard any songs on the album. Its an OK album, but a lot of the songs run together when you listen to it from start to finish. Home By Saturday, Starting Over and 1939 are some of the better tunes. Expand
  7. [Anonymous]
    Jul 19, 2004
    6
    This is definitely my least favourite Hayden CD. I've tried to listen to it a lot but it just doesn't have that specialness that This is definitely my least favourite Hayden CD. I've tried to listen to it a lot but it just doesn't have that specialness that I'm used to in Hayden. There's not one song that I can say I really like. Expand