Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Tales of Great Neck Glory
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
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P. Simonson | 03/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a solid CD. I bought it a long time ago, when it first came out, but it had fallen out of my regular rotation until I was recently reminded of it by listening to The Strokes. To me anyway, the sound and style are strikingly similar. If you like Is This It? I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Tales of Great Neck Glory."
Prior Pavement Wannabe Act From Current Roxy Music Wannabe
A. Seuthe | United States | 11/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jesse Hartman, who is currently single-handedly churning out albums under the moniker Laptop, released two albums and one EP with the two man group Sammy. At some point during this decade he bought a computer with some mixing software, discovered Brian Eno and moved on, but "Tales of Great Neck Glory" faithfully catalogues his musical adolescence in awe of Stephen Malkmus.It is an interesting effort, with some highly enjoyable songs. If you're not well-versed in the Pavement discography, such as myself, you won't see the similarities in the lo-fi cryptic songs - but the nasal vocal style that Hartman employs is unavoidably recognizable. Once you get past this the songs, although they sing like someone else, sing for themselves. Hartman, the sole lyricist, knows how to create a persona in less than three minutes on each track. Some of the lyrics don't make much sense, but Hartman within the gibberish is able to impart a pathetic longing for something unobtainable. That's basically the tragic theme of every song, because the listener can sense he's begging for something but we don't know what, and we doubt he does either. Because of these laconic songs this album effortlessly creates a pervading mood, which many albums can't achieve. In this respect, the album is a triumph. Sammy has created the perfect soundtrack for the week after a painful breakup when you sense you're mourning something, but aren't sure if you want it back.This album is a worthy purchase (especially at the used price) just as study of the interesting musical case of Jesse Hartman, who later turned to syth pop. Some synthesized beats peek out every once and while. But how strongly these musical choices were influenced by how the band lacked a full-time drummer can't really be determined. The pop song writing sensibility seen in his later efforts is clearly seen here. The hooks and riffs of this album are not as crisp as those by Laptop, but the raspy whining vocals on this album make it sound like Hartman takes his plight seriously. The glam, confident, and more produced singing style of his later Laptop almost hint that Hartman is just mocking himself. "Tales of Great Neck Glory" is a necessary purchase for Hartman fans, because it provides a window into his younger and more naive days, when his songs reeeked of sincerity rather than satire. After listening to this album, I can't help but to also be curious about what Luke Wood (the other half of Sammy) is up to."
It takes a thief
Paul Hampel | 10/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some critics have denied Sammy their rightful place amongst the great bands of the '90s because these Great Neckers took a lot of cues from Pavement. That's like dismissing the Stones for their devotion to Chuck Berry. If you can get past the derivation, you won't regret it. Irresistible hooks and inspired lyrics form a fascinating portrait of East Coast suburbia at century's end. Someday, a genuis director is going to latch on to "Kings Pt. vs. Steamboat" for his movie's bookend track, and the whole world will be asking, "How come we never heard this brilliant band before?""