Lake Street Dive’s ‘Bad Self Portraits’ album review

By Christine M. Sellers,
Author Rating: 
5.0 Stars - I Loved It!

Lake Street Dive’s album, Bad Self Portraits is an eclectic mix of sounds and genres. Listeners can note jazz, rock and even R&B influences paired with carefully crafted lyrics and soulful melodies.

Lake Street Dive are not newcomers to the world of music by any means. Band members Mike Olson (trumpet/guitar), Rachael Price (vocals), Bridget Kearney (bass) and Mike Calabrese (drummer) have been performing together for almost 10 years, according to their official website.

The group met while they were all studying at the New England Music Conservatory in Boston. Trumpet/guitar player Olson, who hails from Minneapolis, is responsible for forming the band. He is also credited with choosing the group’s moniker.

Lake Street Dive began gaining more notoriety back in 2012 after a cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” went viral on YouTube. Their steady rise to fame only continued after they appeared at the Another Day, Another Time Show at the request of T Bone Burnett. With their band finally on the radar, Lake Street Dive received praise from top media outlets such as Rolling Stone, the New York Daily News, and the Hollywood Reporter. They released their EP Fun Machine shortly afterward.

Their newest album, Bad Self Portraits was released on Feb. 18, 2014 with Massachusetts based indie label, Signature Sounds. The album features 11 tracks, including “Stop Your Crying,” “Bobby Tanqueray,” “Rabid Animal” and of course, the titular tune, “Bad Self Portraits.” Most of the tracks are an average of three minutes, with the exception of “Just Ask,” whose running time is a whopping five minutes and five seconds.

“Just Ask” is also one of the most powerful tracks on Bad Self Portraits; it showcases the band’s incredible versatility and smooth vocals. Furthermore, “Just Ask” presents some of the band’s strongest lyrics, with “When you tell me that you’re all right/You’ve made off with my body/And you’re poisoning my mind/But I know I have your love babe/And you know that you always have mine” shaping up to be the most raw.

Other exceptional lyrically-fused tracks include, “Use Me Up” and “Rental Love.”

Lake Street Dive’s Bad Self Portrait is an all around masterpiece that will appeal to music lovers of any genre.

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