Let’s start by saying it’s fruitless trying to classify Samm Bennett. Don’t even think about it. He’s a genre of one, crazily prolific – both these albums appeared in May and he’s released more music since then – and with a decidedly, gloriously skewed vision of the world. Originally from Alabama, he migrated to the North East, and now makes his home in Tokyo.
Some of the 22 songs here have previously come out as singles, but there’s still plenty of new material. While none of it is especially complex, there’s a level of intensity to the work that often borders on the manic; it’s definitely not easy listening. That said, there’s plenty of humour: anyone who can call the longest track on one of the discs “The New Bob Dylan Song” doesn’t necessarily take life too seriously.
He may look at America as an outsider now, but the place he views isn’t seen through rose-coloured glasses. Take the vision of suburban bliss careening off the rails that’s “Diamond Dinky Dunco The Dancing Clown,” or “Howling Monkey In A Tiny Cage,” which could be read as an observation of Trump addressing one of his rallies.
There are those who make music and hope to be known. That’s completely understandable; you want people to hear what you’ve created. Others just need to let it all pour out and clear the way for more. That seems to be Bennett’s way, and while he doesn’t knock it out of the park every time, he manages a pretty good, adventurous average and he keeps batting. That’s worth a lot. -Chris Nickson
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Relased since we wrote this review.