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Son of a Math Teacher

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Album Review

Sam Bisbee is apparently the Son of a Math Teacher, and why would he bother to lie about that? Bisbee wears his heart on his sleeve enough on this album that one is inclined to believe he must be telling the truth (or something rather close to it) as he informs us that he's decided he's ready to fall in love with someone ("This Is the Day"), he wants to talk to that person right now and not just leave them a message ("Ringtone"), and he knows that they're the only people in the world who matter ("You Me We and Us"). Bisbee's songs veer back and forth between subdued singer/songwriter material ("Vermont," "Curves of Your Body") and uptempo pop/rock ("Parachute" "Letter B"), that should please aging new wave guys, and regardless of the tempo he can write a clever, well-crafted melody with smart lyrics, usually about love, how to get it, and the problems that arise when it isn't around. Bisbee produced the sessions with Bo Boddie and Britt Myers, and Son of a Math Teacher's craft is impeccable, but despite the skill displayed here on nearly every level and Bisbee's willingness to bare his soul, there's something curiously uninvolving about this music — he tells these stories well, and they have the ring of truth, but at the same time it's hard not to feel like as if you've heard all this before, and Bisbee's gifts as a songwriter and a studio craftsman don't compensate for the fact he's not an especially engaging presence as a singer. In another era, Bisbee would find a killer vocalist with lots of presence to sing this material and be content to be a well-paid Svengali, and Son of a Math Teacher suggests that might not be a bad career path for him to consider.

Customer Reviews

ok cd

Downloaded this CD.. The best thing about it is one song has golden throated Liz Tormes on it. .otherwise.. meh.


Unbelievable that no one has reviewed this yet. Male singer/songwriter music is typically not my cup of tea, as said genre usually verges into affected self-indulgent folkisms (as do the female equivalents). However, this album stands out: intelligent lyrics, fantastic melodies, impressive choice of collaborators (listen to the tragically under-rated Leona Naess duet "Never Fall In Love", which would be my choice for favorite on this album), beautiful harmonies and chord progressions, polished productions still full of life. Clearly much effort and thought has gone into this album, and it's worth giving it a serious chance.


sam bisbee is a musical genius. this album is worth listening to.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

After weathering a frustrating period of development deals, demos, and one forgotten album (1996's Snacks, released by Plump Records) during the '90s, indie rock singer/songwriter Sam Bisbee took things into his own hands. Gathering together talented players such as Charlie Drayton (the B-52's, Keith Richards), Peter Adams (Tracy Bonham, Juliana Hatfield), and guitarist/recording artist John Wolfington, Bisbee headed into Philip Glass' Looking Glass studios to make his own album his own way. The...
Full Bio
Son of a Math Teacher, Sam Bisbee
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