Samantha Crain returns with her fifth album You Had Me At Goodbye. The excitement for this album increased with the release of three singles, all of which given the instruction to showcase the eccentricities behind their creation as well as the sheer talent that went into enveloping each showpiece into one cohesive unit. “Antiseptic Greeting” was one track in particular that dazzled with it’s dreamscape instrumental and down to earth lyricism, delighting the eardrums with it’s blissful sound as well as it’s honest admission of not always wanting to do the right thing in terms of social cues.

The realistic pessimism of “Antiseptic Greeting” opens You Had Me At Goodbye and sets up the record as one that’s going to cut straight to the point. It’s bold statements of stop making me have to smile at people at hate/making me feel I can do better when I don’t think I can/stop judging people first thing in the morning makes for a refreshing listen as this is what most people would like to say at their most honest. This sets up nicely for “Oh Dear Louis” which also claims a sympathetic mood against another upbeat instrumental flooded with lovely strings and preppy drums.

“Wise One” stutters it’s way through the airwaves, delivering an off-kilter groove that accompanies the constant scepticism displayed on the lyrics, whereas “Smile When” decides to roll with it with a thick, scuzzy layer of bass taking centre stage. However it’s the song in-between that stands out: “Red Sky, Blue Mountain” performs a Folk instrumental comprised of acoustic guitars, ominous synths while Samantha Crain sings in her native Choctaw language. The result is a song self-assured in confidence, bold in its ideas and strong-willed to fulfil it’s purpose.

Samantha Crain is at a point in her career where her sound is fairly established, and follows a strong foundation which allows her to walk in various directions. This is the case on the new record, as all of the songs featured pull from different avenues and genres to deliver a sound that’s well travelled and very well produced. Crain’s overarching theme of writing for Women who are constantly barraged with a set of rules and guidelines who choose not to adhere to them helps build on this confident, self-esteemed release too, resulting in a great album in You Had Me At Goodbye.

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