Awesome outing for Sammy and Circle. Great selection of songs that tells a thematic story of money, power and greed. From start to finish, there''s not a bad song on here. Highlights (for me anyway): Full Circle Jam (Chump Change), Free Man, Affirmation, Hey Hey (Without...
Awesome outing for Sammy and Circle. Great selection of songs that tells a thematic story of money, power and greed. From start to finish, there''s not a bad song on here. Highlights (for me anyway): Full Circle Jam (Chump Change), Free Man, Affirmation, Hey Hey (Without Greed), but again, not a bad song here.
5/27 Update....I''m going to go a little more in-depth with this review, song by song. First, for those who do not know, this is a "concept album" meant to be listened to in order, from start to finish. The concepts are about money, greed, power and finally, redemption.
1. Devil Came to Philly. 5 Stars. Incredible track. Bluesy rock sound. Listen to the lyrics! The devil laying his traps so to speak, sowing his seed. Great opening for the theme.
2. Chump Change. 5 Stars. Great swift moving jam and cool lyrics (pay attention). Again, consider the theme, about greed cause that''s what this song is about. And it''s catchy as heck! I''ve had this stuck in my head a lot.
3. Can''t Hang. 5 Stars. The only thing about this song I don''t like is Sammy dropping the F-bomb. He only drops it once, but I''ve never been a fan of heavy cursing in lyrics, regardless of the artist. I know it happens, and i know Sams done it before, and maybe I''m just getting old or ultra conservative, lol, but when I was younger, I''d be like "hell yea"!! Going into my 50ies now, I think artists (especially of Sammy stature) can thing of better lyrics (and where that word is dropped, I swear just saying "damn" would have sounded, better, heheh, but that''s just me). All that aside, again, listen to the lyrics. Great stuff here and the sound is awesome. Greed now getting the better of the protagonist who doesn''t know when to quite.
4. Wide Open Space. 3 Stars. This song continues the story with the realization that you are learning there''s a "better way". Need to get out and clear your head, so to speak. The song will be hit or miss depending upon your taste. Sammy sings it well. It sounds powerful, almost "country", but for me, it''s average. Not my cup O'' tea in it''s structure, but not terrible. 3 stars.
5. Free Man. 5 Stars. Holy crap!! Maybe the best song in the collection. Now our protagonist is pissed. Tired of being a slave to greed and screaming for freedom. Crying out to God and beckoning for salvation. Powerful, lyrics and heavy, pounding music, turn this one up!! 6 stars!!! :)
6. Bottom line. 2 Stars. It''s a shame here to go from maybe the best song in the collection to the only "throw-away" in the collection. I''ve tried, but I just cannot get into this one. Sometimes Sam is best served by just rocking. I know he writes some great ballads and other, of the beaten path, tunes, but this...it just does nothing for me. The theme is still consistent with the overall story, so that''s good, but I often skip this one.
7. No Worries. 4 Stars. OK so having coming through the scream for freedom in track 5, the story moves to putting things into perspective, enjoying life and friends and family, and letting go of the superficial things you were chasing after. Great summer song (heck, would have been a great fit on Living it Up) and has already found it''s way into my "summer mixes".
8. Trust Fund Baby. 5 Stars. The only thing about this song that make me go "what?" is the placement. If this collection of songs is telling a story about greed and corruption and moving to a redemption based latter half, why is this the third to last song? I''d love to hear Sams comments on that. This would have been far better placed in the number 4 spot right after Can''t Hang". Would have made more sense, but does not diminish the overall song at all. Taken from what was originally a Montrose riff and re-invented here, Trust Fund Baby rocks and rocks hard (and the title says it all, as far as the theme is concerned).
9. Affirmation. 5 Stars. Maybe my second favorite track in the collection. The story has come full circle and the song is an awesome selection leading towards the collections closer. If you''re a Sammy fan, you''re likely in the demographic that this appeals to. We''ve traveled that material world, we''ve been bombarded by what society tells us is important, we''ve been through trials and tribulations, and finally have to come face to face with ourselves. Sometimes we have have to stop and, like the lyrics allude to "take a look in the mirror". As a christian, I can really relate to the lyrics "had to call on Jesus" and with the theme starting the album off with the devil planting his seed and leading people astray, this song does, indeed, make the journey complete. Power, creative music and outstanding lyrics.
10. Hey, Hey (without Greed) 5 Stars. When I first heard this song, it was a 3 on my list. The more I listened to it, it quickly grew on my and is easily 5 stars. Easily! I read one of the other reviewers mention "we''ve already heard this on the opening song". I''m guessing that reviewer is missing the point of the "theme" of the collection. Yes, we''ve heard the "Hey, Hey" already, but this last song pulls the theme together and closes out the story. It comes full circle (just like the name of the band). Look up the lyrics if you need to and listen to what Sam is saying as the chorus is being sung. It''s outstanding. I''d implore that reviewer to give this another listen. The song take the concept of money, and moves it from a selfish thing to accumulate and acquire to listing all of the wonderful things we can accomplish with money, once we put greed aside. It''s really a compelling song.
I''d really love to see the overall review ratings on this album to go up, and maybe they will. This is well beyond a 3 1/2 star collection. If you''re a fan of Sammy, or just rock in general, and thematic, story-telling collections, this is for you.
Peace and God Bless!!