Thursday 7 October 2021

Album Review: Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under

'Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under' Tracklisting
1. ‘Seventeen Going Under’ 2. ‘Getting Started’ 3. ‘Aye’
4. ‘Get You Down’ 5. ‘Long Way Off’ 6. ‘Spit Of You’ 7. ‘Last To Make It Home’
8. ‘The Leveller’ 9. ‘Mantra’ 10. ‘Paradigms’ 11. ‘The Dying Light’

It's no secret that Sam Fender has a natural ability in story telling, so I suppose it only made sense that his second LP would see the songwriter turn in on himself, returning with his most personal work to date. The result? A poignant yet brightened backdrop of the gritty North-East, depicted through Fender's brilliant delivery. 

"If you like the Boarders then you're going to love the new record" proclaimed Sam at a recent live show as he likened it the best he could. And he's certainly not wrong. Already triumphing in Springsteen territory, the album rings throughout with his distinct guitar strumming and jazzy sax notes. It's a prominent and bold step that leaves its lasting mark paying in abundance. 

From its roaring title track that builds and builds to the aspirant Getting Started and his thumping call to arms single Aye, the album tackles an all manner of hard hitting topics from the polarity between the left and the right wing to contemplating shifting gear to support family life. It's not one for the faint hearted. 

Elsewhere on the record there's the cathartic Get You Down, a recent single that has taken his live set by storm that sees him at his liveliest. 

As a true dynamic there's a softer side to Sam too with his latest single Spit Of You that sees him heartfelt and emotional as he faces his dad amidst a trauma. Filled with intricate guitar playing and slick percussive changes it's a real mood setter that impacts far deep beyond the surface. 

Hitting raw emotions adequately, there's plenty of soul searching to be had on his second outing. From Last To Make It Home, a piano key driven epic that swells with its out bursting choruses to the orchestral The Dying Light with its monstrous crescendo.

Despite only a short time span between his debut Hypersonic Missiles to now, there's a refined maturity in his sound and this is a stunning coming of age record that sees Sam take on his own image head on, a side he's skipped over tentatively before. He's certainly become one of our generations greatest songwriters and this truly cements his name with the greats.

Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under is out October 8th via Polydor Records.


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