Sam Isaac has obviously been listening to Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. The similarities between Sam Duckworth and namesake Isaac are almost endless. They both have a desperate, yearning quality to their voice, and rely on jaunty, bouncy melodies to help them get their points across. But whereas Duckworth’s clumsy political mantras led to him calling his debut Confessions of a Bohemian Teenager, Isaac could have easily called his debut Confessions of a Comfortably Well-off and Actually Quite Uninteresting Yoof With Not That Much To Say.
There’s nothing offensively bad about Bears, it’s just that there’s nothing exciting or original present in it. Parts are lifted straight from Duckworth’s material, from Snow Patrol, from Frank Turner, and from pretty much any emo-ish male singer-songwriter you can think of.
It’s an album to listen to on a Sunday afternoon, lazing around in bed with your partner (who, like you, doesn’t like music all that much, but will listen to it because it’s the done thing, yah?) reading the papers. Probably the Telegraph.
It’s gentle and melodic and contains bits you can sing along to and bits you can nod your head along with and bits you could even have a bit of a boogie to. But it is undoubtedly a record you’re unlikely to recommend to friends (not cool ones anyway) and liking Sam Isaac is never going to be something to shout from the rooftops.
But it’s pleasant enough. Music like this never hurt anybody, never did anything to offend anyone, but it just doesn’t inspire, it doesn’t excite, it doesn’t make you think, “Wow, I want to be like him”, which all good music should. Annoyingly, the best track present (‘Fire, Fire’) opens up with a direct rip off of Snow Patrol’s ‘You’re All I Have’, which ruins it from the very beginning, even if it is ever so slightly catchier than the other tracks on the album.
And it’s samey. I’d like to hear Isaac give something different a bash, have a go at a big rocky track, or a slow, mournful ballad, rather than just aiming straight down the middle of the road, which, incidentally, is a really quite dull road with no twists or turns or accidents or low-flying aeroplanes on it, in fact, with nothing on it to distinguish it from millions of other roads out there.Don’t get me wrong, I’ve genuinely enjoyed Bears the few listens I’ve given to it. But I can’t imagine any time in the future where I think to myself, “Ooh, yeah, I really fancy listening to Sam Isaac”. It’s just going to be too easy to wipe him from my mind. He’s so forgettable I can’t picture his face five minutes after looking him up, and his music isn’t memorable enough to make a lasting impact.
This review was written for Muso's Guide.