# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Sam Shinazzi - Stories You Wouldn't Believe

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 19 / 8 / 2005

Sam Shinazzi - Stories You Wouldn't Believe
Label: Laughing Outlaw
Format: CD


Exceptional acoustic folk pop on third album from Sydney based singer songwriter Sam Shinazzi, who was also responsible for co-writing the bulk of Jenny Queen's classic ‘Girls Who Cry Need Cake’

It wasn’t that long ago that there were so many new talented female singer songwriters releasing albums that some who should have had attention and praise lavished on them didn’t, purely because there were just so many. Now it seems that it’s the time for male singer songwriters to try to make their mark. Sadly it appears that some of the best are going to fall by the wayside and not get the radio play or media attention they deserve just like some of their female counterparts. With the likes of James Blunt attracting a lot of interest at the moment though maybe, just maybe, a singer songwriter of the calibre of Sam Shinazzi might get the attention he so rightly deserves with 'Stories You Wouldn't Believe' which is his third release. Sydney based Shinazzi’s last two albums; ‘Less Than Perfect Day’ from 2003 and 2001’s ‘Long Drive Home’ were released as by ‘the c-minus project’. But to most of us Shinazzi is probably best known for co-writing the bulk of Jenny Queen’s album ‘Girls Who Cry Need Cake’. This is recommendation enough; any one with a hand in composing classics, yes classics, like ‘Drowning Slowly’ or ‘Due South’, both on Queen’s debut album, has nothing more to prove. If James Blunt can top the U.K. charts with ‘You’re Beautiful’ then, if there is any justice in this world, Shinazzi’s ‘The Drifter’ which is not even the highlight on ‘Stories’ should be the next number one by a singer songwriter. There has never been a better time than now for Shinazzi to make his mark. The twelve songs on ‘Stories’ are straightforward acoustic based story songs. These songs stand on their own. They need no clever studio embellishment for them to hit home. In a way these songs could have been made at any point over the last 35 years yet they still sound contemporary especially given today’s musical climate. As Shinazzi says in ‘Game Over’, “I’ve got a guitar and I’ve got some chords. I’ve got a million words and I’ve got a voice”… but what a voice, and what melodies the man composes. But what makes Shinazzi better than those who are enjoying more success than him at the moment is that Shinazzi’s songs find their way into your heart from the very first time you hear them. From the opening song, ‘Breakdown’ where a world weary Shinazzi sings “this coffee tastes like cigarette, feels like I’m drinking nicotine, I think you know what I mean” over one of his lovely melodies you are drawn into Shinazzi’s world. It’s simple; he’s writing and singing about places we’ve all been to, about the relationships we’ve all had, about the bars we’ve all been in. He’s not just writing about his life, but yours and mine too. Not content with opening the album with three of the best songs I’ve heard all year, with the fourth song, ‘Out Of The Question’, Shinazzi hits us with the perfect song. At just under two minutes ( and although I would have loved this song to go on longer, there’s a certain thrill that it ends too soon, it just makes you want more of the same) it’s another excellent Shinazzi melody with honest lyrics about a love lost and outstanding lead guitar from Robert Cranny. This song shows a rockier side to Shinazzi but those touching lyrics are never far away, “No more love songs, don’t send me letters….” before bowing out with the sound of a heart breaking; “please remember I always meant to brighten up your day, even though it wasn’t always that way”. Then just when you think it can’t get any better it does. ‘My Friend And A Free Day’ follows and with it’s mandolin and keyboards it touches upon country rock, another slight diversion which other singer songwriters would not have taken. Again, and I make no apologises for quoting so many lyrics, Shinazzi touches us all with “so don’t you try and see her through my eyes, because you can’t and you won’t and you never will.” How many times has this man had his heart broken? Shinazzi is an exceptional songwriter and performer, I’ve had no reason to mention a host of other artists who he sounds like or might have taken inspiration from for the simple reason Shinazzi really does stand alone; in an overcrowded genre he really does shine out. Four months before those ‘best of the year’ lists hit us and I’d be very surprised if Sam Shinazzi doesn’t figure in many of them. More please.

Track Listing:-
1 Breakdown
2 I Don't Belong Here
3 Until Sunrise
4 Out Of The Question
5 My Friend And A Free Day
6 Scotty Come Home
7 The Drifter
8 A Night For Remembrance
9 Wyoming
10 Game Over
11 Getting Too Old
12 Trying Not To Think About It

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