‘Casino’ is a cool bluesy slide through gambling. Lake’s sleazy sounding sax playing masks the otherwise limp lyrics. Once through, there is not much reason to retrace one’s steps into this palace of addiction. ‘Open Ideas’ starts with some melodic dark moods of swirling images but really never goes anywhere, just round and round, and almost most stops halfway through, nearly pausing to wait for another idea to emerge. ‘5-4-3-2-1’ descends into repetition. There’s not much to bite off. There is even less on ‘Dance 2.’
But Lake’s ‘Valley Stretch’ feels like the wait is over. The song has both sweetness and harshness. It can be powerful at times, it can be self-doubting at others. The band knows where it is going and their conversation is near telepathic. Workman’s ‘Willow Song’ is a gorgeous soulful romp. One only wishes that the entire album could be on the level of these two pieces.