Album Review : Sam Lee – Ground Of Its Own (The Nest Collective; 2012)

By Matthew Law

Studying under traveller Stanley Robertson and learning songs from gypsy communities led Sam Lee to create this folk album.

And it is is quite pleasing. It blends traditional folk songs with a modern twist, and the result is music with a warm and comforting feel to it.

The problem that arises from the album though, is that there is no one continuous sound or tone. After the first few tracks, the album turns into a mish-mash of different song types. The first track, “The Ballad Of George Collins“, is similar to a Gaelic folk tune, but then this is juxtaposed with “Wild Wood Amber”, which for some reason includes operatic elements that simply don’t work or fit in with the style produced in the majority of the other tracks.

The first time you listen to this, it will be like background music from a stereotypical Irish pub, but with the second listen it’s depth shows; certainly Ground Of Its Own proves that there is promise in Sam Lee.

The big problem with this release is that there is no consistency. That is something that Lee will hopefully work out over time, because his talent is obvious, and if he does then his future releases could yet be significant.

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