Having reviewed Sam’s debut single and seeing him live on many occasions over the last couple of years, I’ve had nothing but high hopes for the release of Bears.
2007’s self-released album ‘Sticker Star and Tape’ had a huge sound, catchy hooks and belting choruses, and 2009’s ‘Bears’ is no different - it’s also beautifully produced. The newer tracks show a huge maturity in the art of song-writing, and new recordings of older tracks “Sideways”, “Carbon Dating” and “Sticker Star And Tape” are just wonderful.
The array of emotions and the fantastic story-telling that this album conveys is quite staggering; from the nostalgic and hopeful “Berlin” right the way through to the toe-tapping and almost attacking “Carbon Dating”, there’s simply not enough time for me to describe all of the qualities that these twelve tracks showcase.
Like smiling through tears, there’s a delightful melancholic undertone to this album, but it’s melancholy that’s tinged with hope and sheer delight, and that’s what makes ‘Bears’ an early contender for my album of 2009. It’s just bloody magnificent.