Monday, 30 December 2013

7 inch singles collection: Sam Brown - Mindworks

It's the daughter of 50's rock 'n' roller, Joe Brown:


A-side: Mindworks
B-Side: No Man Is An Island
(A&M 1990)

I can imagine people looking at that picture of the sleeve just there and thinking - "He only bought that for the limited edition pop-sleeve." Whilst I would maintain that that is an excellent reason for buying any record, and I would have done so for this one, if it were not for the fact that I would have bought this one even if it didn't have the pop-up sleeve. As it happens I rather liked Sam Brown's previous offering "Stop!" (more of which later), and was looking forward to hearing more of her.

I happy to report that I was not disappointed with Mindworks. It has strong framing acoustic guitar to start with an other-worldy sound, (I make notes when I'm listening to these records and it says wibbly-wobbly noise in those notes), which glides over the top of the music. If you want me to be a bit more technical I suppose theremin-like would cover it, (and, indeed, it may even be a theremin!) Sam starts singing  with a strong voice building it up into a bit of a crescendo - good dramatic power pop. There's more wibbly-wobbly noises going on discretely in the song, but that add that extra bit of distinction to it.

The b-side is called No Man Is An Island - this starts off soft and low with a pervasive jazzy bass that takes it's time to work into smooth groove. The jazz element is strong in this one, it's much more exacting and exciting vocally for Sam than the a-side, but she more than lives up to with a sultry and confidant performance. There's a cool and satisfying woodwind break in the middle. All in all it's a better song than the a-side - with two downfalls, firstly it's not as catchy, and secondly it just doesn't seem to how to end, and the finish doesn't quite work.

I expect you're all agog to know what the pop-up in the gatefold sleeve looked like - as it doesn't fit on my scanner. Well it's Sam Brown's head as seen in the above picture with a curly thing (probably a visual representation of the wibbly-wobbly noise) springing out with some of the words on it. Trust me - you're not missing much by not being able to see it.

Next time another Gloucester band from the early 90's...
(actually we can't seem to get out of 90/91 at the moment - I may have to make an intervention in my selection randomiser soon - just for the sake of variety)

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