Friday, November 01, 2013

FDF Volume 4 Issue 324 - Sam Roberts - We Were Born In A Flame"

Album – We Were Born in a Flame
Artist – Sam Roberts
Key Players - George Donoso – drums. Sam Roberts -vocals and all instruments

Produced By – Brenndan McGuire

Release Date – June 3, 2003

Overview – Sam Roberts was born in Canada soon after his parents immigrated from South Africa in 1974. By 1993 Sam had formed his first band and they had their ups and downs and by 2001 he had recorded his first solo ep. The ep was a slow seller but picked up steam to gain him a record contract. This would be his full length debut and it would win two Juno Awards for Album and Rock Album of the year.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 13 song album opens with the acoustic guitar led
"Hard Road". It is evident right away that Roberts is talented. The layers of guitars bass and drums under the poppy/catchy lyrics are complex and interesting. The guitars range from jangle to buzz for the duration “Don't Walk Away Eileen” is another tight rocker. (this one used drummer Jordan Zadorozny). The drums do rumble a bit more more on this one, but the focus is on the pop sensibilities of this track.  "Brother Down" was released as a single to the US and the hand claps and guitars all add that “around the campfire” type track. A solid track only made better with the vocal overdubs. A stand out track for sure. The rumble of drums is constant on "Where Have All The Good People Gone?" . Roberts sounds more comfortable on this track, layering vocals over vocals and guitars to boot. A really “full” sounding track. Much of the album to this point is pretty rocking and “Taj Mahal” is the first seemingly attempt to slow it down some. Pianos fill the sound scape with light cymbal work on the ride cymbal. This mid tempo song allows Roberts vocals to be out on his sleeve. Nothing I masked and he seizes the moment to reach deep with his comfortable vocal range. “Every Part of Me” has the focus on Roberts solid bass playing work. Its never overly flashy, but rock solid. Holding court for the guitar lines and the horn section that appears on this track. The duo gets rowdy again on “Higher Learning”. The lyrics are sung about as fast as he as sung on the record and the music as equally as frantic. The Donoso drum fill late to send it all back to the chorus will have you looking for your “air drums” sooner than later.  “Rarefied” also has the “bass intro” solo, before the guitar comes in. Roberts vocals are hushed and smooth and come the chorus he seems to “bubble up” some and it has that really solid pop feel he has been so good at crafting. “On The Run” feels like something the White Strips would have done. A driving drum and bass heavy track with the vocals shouted at you accented then with big guitar chops. We quiet things down with a keyboard intro on “No Sleep”. The bass creeps up and then acoustic guitar. “This Wreck of a Lie” is another track on the mellower side, almost beatlesque at times. “Dead End” is a fun rocking romp with a lot of piano in the mix with the guitar bass and drum. We wrap up with “Paranoia” another track that starts off with the solo acoustic guitar that has the slow percussive build. Shakers and light drum taps under the acoustic guitar and Roberts, as always in fine vocal form. The track builds and builds to a frantic conclusion. Well worth your time to not skip this one.

Where are they now? - Now under the moniker “Sam Roberts Band” they released their last album in 2011. According to social media a new album is “in the works”.

FDF Overall Take – Honestly it is pretty easy to understand why this record won the awards and accolades is has. Roberts is skilled for sure, and uses the right tools and the right time. The songs are interesting and entertaining. Always curious what direction he will push himself. You'd be well suited to track this album down.

Links ( find out more..follow and buy)

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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