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Love at the End of the World
     

Love at the End of the World

5.0 1
by Sam Roberts
 
Superficially, Sam Roberts is part of that continuum of heartland Canadian rockers best exemplified in the United States by Bryan Adams and Bachman-Turner Overdrive: plainspoken, uncomplicated hard rock leavened with enough pop hooks to appeal to both the dudes and their chicks. There's certainly an element of that kind of

Overview

Superficially, Sam Roberts is part of that continuum of heartland Canadian rockers best exemplified in the United States by Bryan Adams and Bachman-Turner Overdrive: plainspoken, uncomplicated hard rock leavened with enough pop hooks to appeal to both the dudes and their chicks. There's certainly an element of that kind of meat and potatoes rock & roll on Roberts' third album: first single "Them Kids" is a grumpy state-of-the-rawk overview that posits the idea that old-fashioned rock & roll values are under attack by the dominance of flavor of the month hip-hop and prefab American Idol (or at least Canadian Idol) types. Roberts is only 33, which is awfully young for this kind of "you kids get offa my lawn!" rant, which is probably why that particular song is kinda awful. That misstep aside, however, Roberts reveals himself to be a thoughtful lyricist with an eye for novelistic detail, and his songs -- while rooted in the play list of the average classic rock radio play list, heavy on the Springsteen and '70s vintage Rolling Stones -- are far more varied and interesting than one might expect. For example, "Lions of the Kalahari" mixes a psychedelic guitar wash and hazy, diffuse vocals with a prominent, rubbery bassline, for an effect that's more R.E.M. than the Who, and the defiant "Up Sister" and the churning "End of the Empire" in different ways channel various periods of U2's career. Other highlights include the immediately catchy album closer "Detroit '67," setting an impressionistic stream of consciousness lyric to a rollicking piano-fueled tune, and the elegiac "Waking the Dead," built on shimmering Eno-style washes of heavily processed guitars. An appealingly eclectic and mostly very good album, Love at the End of the World proves that mainstream-oriented rock doesn't need to be boring and formulaic.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/17/2009
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0601143112621
catalogNumber:
431126
Rank:
302296

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Love at the End of the World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love at the End of the World is a rock-solid album from the title track to the closing anthem of Detroit '67. Relatively few albums hold together thematically these days, and even fewer maintain a high quality of well-crafted songs through 13 songs. A great album for the road, Sam Roberts plays throwback rock and roll with a driving beat, sensible lyrics and a layered sound that pulls it all together in strong effort. The album is getting some airplay on alternative radio stations, but deserves a much wider audience.