Sam Dickinson

REVIEW: ‘Off Script’ – Sam Dickinson

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!

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So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!