There is something to be said for getting exactly what you
expected. And that is what I got on this new Samples
record. A collection of twelve solid tracks of familiar music,
that breaks a little new ground, but remains very comfortable
to my heart.
You see, I've got a very strong connection to the Samples.
Their music was the soundtrack to a time in my life that was
very, very happy, and very sad all at once. And this music transports
me back to that time, all the while reminding me how precious
life, and the people that we love, truly are. The songs on
Black And White have the ability to remind my heart of this
most important of truths, and I'm sure they could do the same
If you'll take a few minutes to listen.
Sean Kelly has been the driving force behind the Samples
since their inception over a decade ago, when they released
their first self-titled album to rave local reviews. The songs
were a mixed batch of love songs and songs about the pain that
we as people have caused Mother Earth. Songs of truth and hope,
exactly what one would expect from a young band from Boulder,
Colorado, merging the sounds of reggae with the pop sensibilities
of Sting. The subject matter of Kelly's songs has changed
little over the years, and the new record is imbued with songs
about the mistreating of the earth around us, and environmental
awareness. The difference is that after these years, Sean has
mellowed out a bit, and the songs are less preachy and more
about empathy with the world around us. Not to say there aren't
moments of controversy, such as "For Everyone" with
its highly political bent on the world around us.
There are the silly songs for this album, "Lollipop",
which is a silly song, but holds many secret truths. Sean has
had a tendency to write at least one ridiculous song on each
of his albums, and of course, "I Wanna Get Drunk"
fills the ridiculous space on this record. A rollicking good
time of a drinking song, it'll be right at home with you and
your pals as last call rolls around at the local pub.
But where the Samples have always outshined their peers is
at downbeat songs of sadness mingled with love. This record
gives us some of the finest work Kelly has ever written. "Love
And Roses" is a deeply heartfelt track that will leave
the most hard of listeners aching inside. "Your airplane's
on the runway/ So quiet and alone/ I'm watching you from so
far away/ As the metal birds take you home/ Your mother called
to say she's fine/ She's waiting at the end." The haunting
melancholy of it is enough to quiet the world around you, and
center your thoughts back onto your life and the importance
of love and loved ones. And on "As The Moon Falls Over
Ireland" Sean talks about exploring his familial roots,
showing how he's changed over the years and allowing a naked
glimpse inside his own heart and mind.
Black And White is a journey of discovery. It is a journey
of love. It is a nice guidebook for certain paths on this trip
1. Black And White
2. I Can Feel You
4. Warm And Sunny
5. Long Walk Home
6. For Everyone
7. I Wanna Get Drunk
8. Love And Roses
9. Beautiful Girl
10. Falling In Love
11. As The Moon Falls Over Ireland
12. Empty Angels
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