Mark Rose – The Greatest Lakes

Artist: Mark Rosecover
Album: The Greatest Lakes
Genre: Folk/Jazz/Acoustic/Indie
Label: Unsigned

1. You Come Along
2. How Strong We Are
3. Go On
4. I Need You
5. The Greatest Lakes
6. I Can See You [With My Eyes Closed]
7. Crossing The Line [Acoustic Session]

Oh how I miss Spitalfield. I know that’s an awkward way to lead into a review, but it’s the truth and luckily former Spitalfield vocalist/guitarist Mark Rose heard my cries, along with many others, and has responded with his first officially released solo material. The Greatest Lakes shows vast maturity and style difference from Rose’s former work with similar lyrical patterns and the same heart warming voice we’ve grown to know and love. 

Kicking things off is the top 40 ready single, “You Come Along.” I can’t really capture a similar artist out there currently, but if you gave John Mayer a bit more steady beat and flow you would be close to capturing Mark’s style. It’s a simple beat and song structure, but it reverberates with such passion in every line that you’re swept up in each note. I would have been fine with this being the entire sound of the EP, but Rose has never been one to stay constant with his art. “How Strong We Are,” will remind long time fans of Remember Right Now era Spitalfield with its uplifting lyrics, but Rose has turned it into a near jazz style that works surprising well with his voice. “Go On,” is a bit of a letdown based on the steam the record had built, but is in no way a sheer failure. The strength just isn’t the same.

There is a close resemblance to Rose’s old work with, “I Need You,” but this time we get this funk laced groove that just owns your ears. Even sitting hear now, listening to this track for probably 25th time, I find myself moving along with the bass. It’s that good. This leads us into the title track that, once again, brings in a folk meets funk style that matches Rose oh so well. Personally, this song is another one of the weaker ones overall, but the lyrics help to carry on the record without too much disappointment. Then we come to my favorite track on the whole release, “I Can See You.” I can’t even define what it is that I love about this song, but it captivates me. It’s the most different style wise to me of Rose’s old work, but it’s also one of the most mature songs he’s ever written. Tack on an excellent acoustic track and we’ve finished one of the early contenders of EP of the year!

Spitalfield was a band I, along with many others, felt always seemed to slip through the mainstream cracks, but I don’t know if anyone will be able to deny Mark Rose. The Greatest Lakes is simply a captivating sonic experiment the rings with the capability to last for years to come. Many people don’t get a second chance in this industry, but Rose deserves it more than most. This EP is simply brilliant. Kudos Mark, kudos.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
Score: 9.5/10

James Shotwell
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