Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Debut Album (aka Sammy)
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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A solid debut album from this 90's one hit wonder
Lars E. Madsen | Bay Area | 01/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Albums come and go, yet somehow this cd remains on my shelf. While I have a hard time pinning down exactly what is so great about this album, I can't fault it either. To me it epitomizes the heart and soul of the indie rock movement before it sub-categorized itself into the rest of the cultural mainstream. When I first heard it back in '95, my initial reaction was "this is exactly the kind of disc that I didn't know I needed!"
While nothing groundbreaking is going on here, solid, grungy guitars and drums back up the singer's slightly accented, lackadaisical nonsense lyrics, establishing Sammy as a quintessential example of indie rock in the mid-90s. Think of it as the Red Hat Linux of bands from that period, safely obscured from noteriety by the Microsoft, IBM and Apple of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Beck, respectively. If I had to compare it to another band, I'd place it somewhere between Liz Phair's first album and Pavement's older lo-fi recordings.
I tend to judge albums by the percentage of songs I like. Most releases on the market rate in the 10% category; one, maybe two songs I don't skip through. The majority of what I call "good albums" climb to about 50% or so. With Sammy I tend to listen to the album start to finish, a rare enough promotion coming from me!
Certain tracks stick out. The album starts off with the sad-sack Rudy, an angsty and jangly ballad that sets the stage for the more measured and bangier Hi Fi Killers before handing-off to the first oddball track of the album, Dim Some. Shoot it Around provides a nice counterpoint, a bubbly and pointless track about aimless summer road trips. The Turtle pops in as the albums most jarring, disjointed track, and I can listen to it endlessly. Much to the dismay of those sharing my space.
The transitions from song to song, and the overall movement of the album as a whole, is pretty smooth. That sort of production style is becoming less common as we move into a track-based universe. Overall, this debut album was much stronger than either their EP "Kings of the Inland Empire" or their follow-up album "Tales of Great Neck Glory," which gave up the sameness-of-sound in a bid for more story-driven, clever lyrics and overproduced sound. Sammy is Sammy at its humble, groovy best."