Samantha Crain – You Had Me At Goodbye – Album Review
out 24th March 2017 on Full Time Hobby
ON TOUR IN IRELAND
7th April – Whelans, Dublin
8th April – Cleeres, Kilkenny
9th April – Coughlans, Cork
‘You think I’m being so mean and snide, well maybe it is that my dog just died’ – Antiseptic Greeting
Samantha Crain is a native of Norman, Oklahoma. Her first album ‘Songs in the Night’ dates back to 2009 and she has been relatively productive since that time. She returns with her fifth album ‘You Had Me at Goodbye’. It was recorded while she worked at a pizza joint to pay the bills and binge watching films! You can somehow feel the transient and irreverent tone in her music.
The music is described as a mix of “sweet balladry and taught experimental art-punk spirit” and it really does cover a lot of ground. It opens with Antiseptic Greeting, a bouncy pop song with keyboard and drums, and her unique frail vocal style.
‘I look like the sun is in my eyes, you had me at goodbye,
I know it’s an antiseptic greeting, man you think I could do better, but I don’t think I can’ – Antiseptic Greeting
‘Oh Dear Louis’ has a similar feel with the introduction of strings to move it above the conventional. There are more quirky percussion sounds and her own unique view of the world. The ‘Loneliest Handsome Man’ is a more conventional affair, removing the unusual touches that preceded it. It’s a piano song with swelling strings and passionate vocals.
‘Smile When You Call’ is an answer to Jimmy Webb’s ‘Wichita Lineman’, with the other side of the story told, that of his lover. It is based around a distorted guitar line and drums. ‘Betty’s Eulogy’ is another attempt to see the world through another set of eyes. It is written from the perspective of the wife of legendary Cherokee-Indian cowboy and vaudeville performer, Will Rogers.
‘Early in the morning I needed you, I wanted you by my side’ – Betty’s Eulogy
There is much variety to this album and Samantha shows her ability to move through different genres. This flexibility and creative attitude is throughout along with her scratchy, rasp of a voice. The use of string sections are the most unusual factor, and she has a feel for their arrangement. It’s another album that is well worthy of your attention.
1. Antiseptic Greeting
2. Oh Dear Louis
3. Loneliest Handsome Man
4. Wise One
5. Red Sky, Blue Mountain
6. Smile When
7. Betty’s Eulogy
8. Windmill Crusader
9. When The Roses Bloom Again