It's been a minute since I last logged into Blogger - so I actually wondered if it still existed. After a few failed login attempts I finally made it back. It looks like my last post was in December of 2019. Imagine knowing, at that point, what the year ahead was going to be like? The world pressed pause and every single human was effected. That's why 'All of Us' truly is the perfect title for the new Sam Roberts Band record being released in 2020.
I've had the luxury of living with the new album 'All Of Us' since late May. It's been in heavy rotation ever since. The music's accompanied me on long bike rides for the past 6 months. I watched the leaves grow on the trees when we first got a little reprieve from the first isolation during the first few listens. It joined me through the sweaty sun-soaked days of summer - and it's still the soundtrack to my daily rides while the leaves have started falling again. I really should have taken a photo each day on my rides to do one of those cool time laps photo things. I digress.
It should be noted that this album had been written and recorded long before the World Health Organization declared the global pandemic back in March. The band were actually in a secluded studio in Quebec putting the finishing touches on the album when that happened. It's just the strangest of coincidences that you could mistake each and every track on this record for being a direct response to the happenings of 2020. Perhaps that's just true of all music. You get what you want from it and can relate pretty much any song to the times and pressures one is under at any given time.
Many of these tracks evoke feelings of nostalgia and good times growing up for me. The track 'Ghost Town' is a personal favourite - but that same feeling comes from other tracks like 'Youth' heard here. A few of the songs actually gave me a great sense of hope knowing that life truly is meant to be about evolving. Listen to 'Ascension' here or give 'I Like The Way You Talk About The Future' a listen - or even the title track 'All of Us'.
The sum of all it's parts is what makes this album amazing though. Your can hear each and everyone one of the band's instruments so clearly. I feel like they're having so much fun playing each and every note. There's simplicity bookended by melodic guitar solos like in 'Spellbound' that just take you away from everything. There are moments where I can hear New Order coming through the keys and basslines in songs like 'Ghost Town'. Of course the keeper of the backbeat is apparent throughout as he keeps the train on it's tracks. Just listen to how perfect the drumming is on 'Take Me Away'.I've had the pleasure of knowing / working with these fellas and their management for about 20 years now. They've amazed me at every single turn in their career. They have a reputation for being some of the nicest artists around - and I totally agree with that. They're all individually cool AF in their own way. They refuse to fall into the classic traps of many musicians and therefor will be around for a long time to come. They remain true to their own vibe and wear their influences on the sleeves of their jean jackets. Each album is a reinvention both sonically and in fashion for the band - especially Jimmy on bass. They're true rock-stars and play the music I would love to play if I were in a band. I am thrilled to call them friends.
Thanks for reading / listening.