gig reviews

Sam Brookes - Kairos

By James Swatton

Sam Brookes

For many musicians, primarily those with an acoustic guitar and a heck of a lot of emotions, Jeff Buckley is the pinnacle of a musician’s craft. Many have tried to mimic him and his brand of raw bluesy folk rock, but very few have ever come close. With ‘Kairos’, Sam Brookes must be coming close.

‘Kairos’ is Sam's latest album and is, frankly, absolutely impeccable. All ten of the songs on the album are exquisite, with not a stinker among them. That's quite a hit rate. The Jeff Buckley comparison is initially brought on by the first two songs on the LP 'Intro' and 'Numb', which feature Sam on guitar with his fragile vocals taking centre stage and dominating the foreground. Slowly the other instruments build, but never does the focus from his voice fade.

The Jeff Buckley comparisons are also evident on ‘Frequency’ and ‘On The Mend’. It's important to say that Sam is not just a one trick wonder – he has plenty of other talents. 'One Day' sounds like it could have been recorded by Nick Drake while 'James' sounds like it’s been recorded by an interesting Jack Johnson. There are even moments where he sounds a bit like – whisper it - Sufjan Stevens.

In this review I’ve to told you who Sam sounds like, but not necessarily what he sounds like. That's because the basic elements of ‘Kairos’ you've heard a million times already. Acoustic guitars, piano, bass, yada yada. But, unlike the rest, Sam's song craft is fantastic and his voice staggering. Sam is a song writer who knows how best to use the audio space, going from hushed vocals through to grand orchestral bombast with ease. ‘Kairos’ is a fantastic album by a great artist, and you should seek it out as soon as you can.

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