Sam Dickinson – “Off Script”
It’s only taken seven years, but at last Sam Dickinson follows up his debut release with his second album, “Off Script”, which he has been ‘teasing’ for some time now with five tracks already offered throughout this year. Having spent 2018-19 releasing his two volumes of “From The Glass House” EP’s, Sam decided with the amount of new material he was cultivating, it was time for a full album. And here it is! Fourteen tracks have made it to the final cut, the first three of which are no strangers.
The funky “Cry Wolf” opens the proceedings with a somewhat sombre entry before bursting into a funktastic disco jive that should shake all those Covid cobwebs away. Sam doesn’t leave you standing there wanting more as the title track keeps the pace going in understated fashion. Let’s go off script…! Oh yea! Sam’s cover of Everything But The Girl’s 1995 smash “Missing” pays great homage to the former and yet Sam manages somehow to make this version very much his own with near-sultry vocals as Sam recounts that he misses you…like the desert misses the rain. I love “Never Knew” so much. It’s wicked and just builds and builds till you really can’t take any more and when you want more, that’s it. Fin.
“Therapy” takes the tone and pace down for a while as Sam questions himself and what is happening, leading to the realisation that what he needs is some “Therapy”. A deeply personal song in which Sam allows you into his world and his mind. “Diamond Skin” was the first track that Sam released to introduce this album, so we are already well versed with its hip soundtrack and positive message. “Nothing’s True” returns us to the 1970’s and the dancefloor as Sam laments the loss of someone that could of been set against a foot-tapping, leg moving classic. And that goes for “Lost And Found” too, more early 80’s disco-pop while Sam turns back the clock to the 60’s on “Foolish You”, which has echoes of Duffy with its catchy rhythm and harmony. Sam gives us another 90’s cover next care of “Carefree”, previously recorded by British soul diva Mica Paris for her “Black Angel” album and again, Sam adds his own stamp to this lesser known hit. I hope Mica approves?(!)
“Stolen” is another down-tempo moment as Sam raises his vocal chords to deal with the bi-aspect of this sometimes piano ballad and sometimes lively soul/jazz number. If you want something more classy then look no further than “I Lost You”, a gorgeous summery, easy listening tune in which Sam looks forward, reflecting on past loves but very much focusing on what the future has in store. The tempo and the tone remains level for the next song, “Change The World”, a very simple and tender number about pride and being proud of who you are, as we all should. And so we reach the last song, the one that ends the school disco, a smoochy love song. In “No One In The Room”, Sam closes his eyes and thinks about no one else but you. Awww.
Well, Sam has delivered. It’s taken some time, but he dishes up a very classy collection of disco beats and smooth, easy listening harmonies to suit all tastes. In doing so, Sam takes us on a journey of personal highlights and lowlights, letting the lyrics tell the story and, hopefully, becoming stronger as a result. I’m sure Sam will want a rest after such a busy few months. Just don’t leave it seven years till the next one!