19 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sam Roberts makes a bold move on his fifth album—and his second as The Sam Roberts Band—enlisting the production help of Youth (a.k.a. Martin Glover). Youth's credits include founding postpunks Killing Joke, producing The Verve’s Urban Hymns, and performing with The Orb. Here, Roberts and Youth take a page from the Arcade Fire playbook and ramp up the dance-floor grooves, with earth-shaking bass lines and mammoth synths bringing a super-glitzy production to life. A week of intense pre-production in Montreal led to a serious material overhaul and a demand that songs hit with immediacy. The resulting tracks jump out of the speakers in ways designed to ignite the party and potentially confuse longtime fans. Yet no matter how much production flash there is, songs such as “Never Enough,” “We’re All in This Together," and “Human Heat” still work as songs; if anything, the electric touches bring the hooks more alive. For adventurous souls, there are serious remixes thrown in as bonus material. Just hearing the various remixes of “We’re All in This Together” sheds insight into how elastic The Sam Roberts Band have become. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sam Roberts makes a bold move on his fifth album—and his second as The Sam Roberts Band—enlisting the production help of Youth (a.k.a. Martin Glover). Youth's credits include founding postpunks Killing Joke, producing The Verve’s Urban Hymns, and performing with The Orb. Here, Roberts and Youth take a page from the Arcade Fire playbook and ramp up the dance-floor grooves, with earth-shaking bass lines and mammoth synths bringing a super-glitzy production to life. A week of intense pre-production in Montreal led to a serious material overhaul and a demand that songs hit with immediacy. The resulting tracks jump out of the speakers in ways designed to ignite the party and potentially confuse longtime fans. Yet no matter how much production flash there is, songs such as “Never Enough,” “We’re All in This Together," and “Human Heat” still work as songs; if anything, the electric touches bring the hooks more alive. For adventurous souls, there are serious remixes thrown in as bonus material. Just hearing the various remixes of “We’re All in This Together” sheds insight into how elastic The Sam Roberts Band have become. 

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

30 Ratings

Not that good....

*golden*,

I have never heard an artist try so hard to sound different in the studio than he does live. This album and Collider are perfect examples of this. Other than "Human Heat", "Were All In This Together , and "Kid Icarus", it is hard to call this rock music at all. In trying to break in the US, I guess Sam thinks Adult Contemporary is the way to go? It's not that the songs are bad... and it's not that Roberts has never played on the softer side before (he has a lot), but it unfortunatley, dominates the album. I just saw the band again last week and they are still are a Rock n' Roll band live... I just don't know what they are trying to acomplish in the studio.

Sam should probably stop hiring producers who try to mold the band into their vision and just stick to what he does best.
Oh, by the way, the remixes are all horrific...

Fantastic Album!

Alistair Allstar,

Discovered this band on iTunes. Metal Skin became my new driving jam, then the whole album just went on repeat. Ended up traveling down to San Diego to see them live, then back to the LA gig the next night, so I guess I'm officially a groupie now. A must see live band! Highly recommend this album.

About Sam Roberts Band

Canadian singer/songwriter Sam Roberts released his first true debut in 2002, following a popular demo he had made in Montreal. Before that, 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 write again. He put together the aforementioned demo before sitting down to record his debut, The Inhuman Condition, which was released in 2002 and became the best-selling independent release in Canadian history.

In 2003 he signed with Universal and released his second album, We Were Born in a Flame, in June. The album was a huge hit in Canada and Roberts ended up winning Juno Awards for Album of the Year, Rock Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year. He continued to release well-regarded albums for the remainder of the decade: Chemical City in April 2006 and Love at the End of the World in May of 2008. Each album also won the Juno for Rock Album of the Year.

For his 2011 release, Collider, which featured Dave Nugent on lead guitar, Eric Fares on keyboard and guitar, James Hall on bass, and Josh Trager on drums, Roberts changed from using his name to using Sam Roberts Band. In 2014, Sam Roberts Band returned with the '80s dance-rock-influenced Lo-Fantasy. Two years later, Roberts delivered his sixth studio album, TerraForm, recorded at the Tragically Hip's Bathouse Recording Studios in Kingston, Ontario. Produced by Roberts with Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh, the album featured the single "If You Want It." ~ Bradley Torreano

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