A while back I reviewed Samantha James’ first album, and since I liked it so much, I decided not to review Subconscious on a rush right after it. After all, it’s been around two months since I finally could get the chance to listen the complete album, and still I feel like I’m walking on thin ice here, because I’m sure that another six months from now I might discover new ways of understand what Subconscious is all about.
But the truth is that I could not wait any longer, this album demands to be reviewed, so here’s my humble attempt to make it justice.
Right before embarking on listening to this, I took the time to research about Mrs. James’ background information, something I didn’t bother with her first album. I did it merely out of curiosity at first, but what I learned is the force and inspiration behind her. With all the new information I decided I was ready to give this a go, and that’s just what I did.
It was clear to me from minute one, that she refuses to carry the pop artist label, and instead we are witnessing here the attempt to fuse brilliant song writing with experimental electronic / dance elements spread through a handful of songs that don’t differ much from each other, providing a much appreciated uniform experience across the entire album. And this experience refers to not only solid dance oriented songs, it also includes the combination of her beautiful. well trained voice, and of course, decent lyrics, that tend to deepen when the situation demands it.
As usual, something that has identified Samantha James’ music is the elegant presentation of her songs. I have yet to feel that any of the songs included here are merely fillers. Yes, some songs are more moving or shine a little bit more than the others, but overall this speaks wonders of the maturity and self determination to produce something this good despite the emotional storm that must have been going on during the writing of this album.
And while Waves of Change was the lead single, I believe that some of the better songs from this album won’t ever see the light of day, at least not from mainstream channels. Anticipating this, let me recommend some other songs you might like.
Veil is probably the best indicator of what Samantha James’ sound is like. Easy, not complicated and still have a sensuous appeal to it, although much more electronic oriented than what you might have listened from her before. Amber Sky is the ultimate soft and mellow experience for those looking for female vocalists, wrapped into a trip hop evoking instrumentation. Find a Way on the other hand is what can only be described as a breath of fresh air, featuring a pristine and refined touch, an elegant ballad that surprises due to how easy it is to fall in love with it.
Again and Again, however, is truly a gift. It is a heart-tearing song, which undoubtedly was written in the middle of a sea of emotions, something that anybody can relate to. A gift, because this is about someone opening up his heart, looking for the much needed healing process that comes with it, and since most of us don’t have the ability to do something nearly as beautiful as this in similar situations, we at least have the chance to be carried away with it.
To be honest, I was not expecting to like this album the way I did. I’m just starting to discover that whenever I feel like I’m finally getting over one song in particular, there’s another that starts to get my attention. When you are caught in a situation like this, embrace it, because this does not happens very often. Hopefully this album will produce the same effect on you.
I have absolutely no doubt that Samantha James is one of the most talented songwriters out there right now, and Subconscious is way, way ahead of what Rise achieved 3 years prior. An album to keep on repeat.