Tulsa Project - Album Review: Samantha Crain’s ‘You (Understood)’
Album Review: Samantha Crain’s ‘You (Understood)’
Samantha Crain is one of Oklahoma’s greatest treasures. Hailing from Shawnee, she’s already been on tour opening up for Emmylou Harris. She heads out on tour next week to promote her new album, which is officially released June 8th. Well, Causers, you lucked out. I have in my little hands, a copy of ‘You (Understood),’ and I plan to let you hear about it first.
I have been a fan of Samantha Crain for a few years, and I own her previous two albums, ‘The Confiscation’ and ‘Songs in the Night.’ She’s been signed to Ramseur Records, and spends most of her time touring around the country. But, since she’s Oklahoman, she had her inaugural Album Release Party at The Cain’s this past weekend. (Hence how I scored a copy of the album prior to its official release). In the past, Samantha’s sound has always fallen more on the country/bluegrass side of the spectrum, but there’s always been something in there for the alternative music fan, making country more accessible to a wider, and younger, audience. The most poignant thing about Samantha’s music is her thick, romantic voice. Her voice sounds as if it belongs to someone much older than a petite girl in her mid-twenties. On ‘You (Understood),’ Samantha careens into some unfamiliar territory, introducing much more alternative elements and segueing out of the country genre. Though some hardcore country fans may disagree, I love the new sound. The song structure has also moved from a more narrative perspective to a more personal, heartfelt lyrical experience. I’ve picked three songs to profile from the new album, and a little teaser too!
Lions–The first track on the album has a light and fun melody, when Samantha’s voice comes in and knocks you on your face. “And there on the table are all the stories you had told / Chasing lions of gold / I couldn’t see, when you told me go away / I don’t want you around, after today.” My interpretation is that the lions represent the picture perfect future that the narrator’s significant other painted, and when the lions come to “rob them of their pride,” the narrator realizes that their imagined future was never real.
Equinox–The third track on the album is when you can hear a much more alternative direction forming. The beginning of the song introduces a slightly distorted guitar harping on a repetitive melody, which them breaks away after Samantha sings “There is equal dark and equal light in your eyes / Same parts love and same parts fright, thats how it goes / And if it feels like a natural contradiction, call it that and be done.” The looping chorus is what really makes this song catchy.
We Are The Same–A gentle, wispy and lamenting ballad, this song is, in my opinion, one of Samantha’s best songs. It is evident that the song was born out of real love lost, and it almost moves one to tears, as the narrator realizes that the timing was never right, but that she and her former lover are the same; that they missed their chance to be together. “I was another time, another place/ That’s not your life / You were another time, another place / Turned into real life.”