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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Sam Roberts
We Were Born in a Flame
Universal Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Sam Roberts is Canada's latest export, a rock revivalist capable of redeeming the great white north for subjecting us to Avril Lavigne, Sum 41, and Nickelback, too. A seemingly overnight success in his native land, the Montreal hailing Robers has two strong CanCon hits (with "Brother Down" and "Don't Walk Away Eileen"), a cover of Chart magazine, and two Juno noms already under his belt.

Now, his first full-length, We Were Born in a Flame, has been set loose on American ears. Although way mellower than it's title may suggest, if this disc is in your stereo and you're not moving- chances are you just haven't pushed the play button yet. The inescapable rhythm of songs like "Brother Down" and "Higher Learning" far outweigh We Were Born in a Flame's occasional oatmeal tendencies. Roberts' style is a mix of classic Brit and American pop with a twist of idealism. He's thoughtful but not too deep, choosing to take on more common themes about our self-centered society. Case in point, the track "Where Have All the Good People Gone?" where Roberts laments "I haven't met a friend in a long long while/ They don't check my head but they check my style." Although most of the tracks on We Were Born in a Flame make valid points, the meaning never gets in the way of a good vibe.

As is customary with most strong Canadian albums, for release in America We Were Born in a Flame had some tweaking. In order to accommodate the American palate, one song, "The Canadian Dream" was scrapped, but nothing seems amiss without it and despite the track-listing jumble the album is still as cohesive as ever.

Roberts' witty-yet-contemplative, oatmeal-with-edge sound may take a few listens to completely fall for, but in the end is a definite keeper. Within the boogie rhythm of "On the Run" Roberts in Baptist preacher style shouts out "Do you believe in rock 'n' roll?"

Can I get an Amen?

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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