Album Reviews

Sam Outlaw – Tenderheart – Album Review

When it comes to album charts, it always frustrates me that the best artists and the best albums don’t always get the charting they deserve. To me, it’s almost like the pecking order at school – the real cool kids were always the quiet ones, mostly behind a book or a guitar and yet the most popular kids lacked any sort of personality, depth or originality. Not all of them of course as many popular kids were awesome and many popular albums deserve their success, it’s just those who deserve a lot more recognition seem to often get overlooked. Hopefully that will change.

Sam Outlaw for me is definitely one of the underdogs, one of the actual cool kids and both Sam and his music have originality, depth and a whole lot of personality. Sam’s cool-headed, tongue and cheek (like marmite) humour often entertains me on social media and during his live shows. He doesn’t seem to give a dang and you certainly get no bull s*** attitude from him, no false persona – what you see is what you get and that translates wonderfully into both his music and his live shows.

Sam’s last album Angeleeno is one of the best Americana albums from the last couple of years and won International Album Of The Year at The Americana Awards in the UK so I was very excited to get his new album.

Tenderheart does not disappoint, he challenges the modern market with his daring authentic sol-cal, traditional country sound and is certainly keepin’ it real. A genuine talent, Sam is an artist to be celebrated and is someone to learn from. The serenity of the album pulls you into a world where you get completely lost in the music with its tranquil melodies and calming vocals from Sam.

Sam is a very talented and composed artist who has a lot to offer. He has a masterful, poetic way of writing real life into a three minute song and producing some of the purest and beautiful music I have ever heard. Tenderheart has a strong, wholesome sound of Americana blended perfectly with the most clean, solid sound of country.

The album begins with the striking Everyone’s Looking For A Home which sets a steady and peaceful flow for the rest of the album. The song paints a picture of the last two years of Sam’s life and the difficulties of being on the road and having to leave his wife and son behind. The song is beautifully emotive with a stunning mellow melody and the video shows footage of his family life and touring life.

Some of my favourites listed below include the title track Tenderheart which is highly memorable with its graceful melody and chanting chorus which makes the song so wonderfully addictive. This is a song I can imagine being very atmospheric in a live setting.

Trouble has an element of rock to it which fits on the album and suits Sam’s vocals really well.

Sam brings in good friend and vocalist Molly Jensen to harmonise on songs All My Life and Look At You Now. Their voices truly compliment each other and give the songs that little bit more.

Bottomless Mimosas is a fun, exciting, light spirited track about the lifestyle in L.A. Sam shows off his vocals in true mesmerising style in this song along with gorgeous traditional instrumentation which is really stunning.

A very favourite for me though is Bougainvillea, I Think – it’s the song that stuck out most to me and the song I found myself humming for days. The lyrics are very interesting about an elderly neighbour whose name he cannot recall but she obviously left a mark in his memory in some way.

Every track off the album is refreshing and delightful and leaves you with no desire to skip any.

Sam has a reputable sound to his music and he is making his mark and staying honest to his roots. I highly recommend this album to anyone.

Tenderheart by Sam Outlaw

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