Following the critical success of his EP The Inhuman Condition, Canadian Sam Roberts released his first full-length album, We Were Born in a Flame. Adding ten tracks to three carryovers from his EP, Roberts offers up a pop/rock record whose energy and hooks beg for repetitious play. Continuing the latest singer/songwriter trend, Roberts plays every instrument on the record with the exception of percussion. He even contributes the violin portion of the hypnotically beautiful "Taj Mahal," which tells the loving story of Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in honor of his favorite wife. With his infectiously profound lyrics and power pop beats, it is easy to see why so many compare his style to the Beatles. The opening track,"Hard Road," instantly gets your head bobbing and toes tapping. The steady drumbeat mimics the monotonous feeling of driving along an open road. The clap-along groove of the Juno-nominated single "Brother Down" adds to the throwback vibe that pervades this record. "Paranoia" closes the album, starting out as a Dylan-esque acoustic ditty and then moving into a heavenly way of ease before finishing with an upbeat electric rock drive. While many of the songs stir reminiscent echoes of past rock anthems, Roberts truly has the diversity and aptitude to deliver them with a freshness that eludes the majority of artists who steal directly from their influences rather than evolving the musical foundations.
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AllMusic Review by Erik Crawford