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Love At the End of the World

Sam Roberts

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Album Review

Superficially, Sam Roberts is part of that continuum of heartland Canadian rockers best exemplified in the United States by Bryan Adams and Bachman-Turner Overdrive: plainspoken, uncomplicated hard rock leavened with enough pop hooks to appeal to both the dudes and their chicks. There's certainly an element of that kind of meat and potatoes rock & roll on Roberts' third album: first single "Them Kids" is a grumpy state-of-the-rawk overview that posits the idea that old-fashioned rock & roll values are under attack by the dominance of flavor of the month hip-hop and prefab American Idol (or at least Canadian Idol) types. Roberts is only 33, which is awfully young for this kind of "you kids get offa my lawn!" rant, which is probably why that particular song is kinda awful. That misstep aside, however, Roberts reveals himself to be a thoughtful lyricist with an eye for novelistic detail, and his songs — while rooted in the play list of the average classic rock radio play list, heavy on the Springsteen and '70s vintage Rolling Stones — are far more varied and interesting than one might expect. For example, "Lions of the Kalahari" mixes a psychedelic guitar wash and hazy, diffuse vocals with a prominent, rubbery bassline, for an effect that's more R.E.M. than the Who, and the defiant "Up Sister" and the churning "End of the Empire" in different ways channel various periods of U2's career. Other highlights include the immediately catchy album closer "Detroit '67," setting an impressionistic stream of consciousness lyric to a rollicking piano-fueled tune, and the elegiac "Waking the Dead," built on shimmering Eno-style washes of heavily processed guitars. An appealingly eclectic and mostly very good album, Love at the End of the World proves that mainstream-oriented rock doesn't need to be boring and formulaic.

Customer Reviews

Love at the end of the world

Sam Roberts is one of my favourites and this album is one of his best! Great new songs and that rock and roll beat that he does so well. Extra stellar tracks include "Words and Fire" and "Fixed to Ruin." I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a really well-crafted rock album with a lot of heart and soul.

Sam Roberts.....what can you say about this album

Unbelieveable, absolutely one of the best albums of this year. Highly infectious. Some favs are: The Pilgrim, End of the Empire, Words & Fire and Waking the Dead. Probably the best $ 9.99 I've spent in a long time ! Once you listen, you won't want to stop !

Smart Canadian Rock

His lyrics are thoughtful and his music complex and layered. Fantastic every time I listen to it!

Biography

Born: October 2, 1974 in Westmount, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Canadian singer/songwriter Sam Roberts released his first true debut in 2002, following a popular demo he had made in Montreal. Before that point, he had been a violin player who eventually moved on to guitar and started a rock band with his friends. After getting a bit of coverage on MuchMusic, they decided to try their luck in Los Angeles. The band didn't get any positive reactions from record labels and disbanded in 1998, but that didn't stop Roberts from going back to Canada and beginning to...
Full Bio
Love At the End of the World, Sam Roberts
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