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Stories You Wouldn't Believe

Stories You Wouldn't Believe

  • By Sam Shinazzi
  • Release 13/12/2005
  • Music Genre Rock
  • Media Format CD
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Price: $17.00

Product Notes

Sydney singer/songwriter Sam Shinazzi returns with full band on his third release, "STORIES YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE." Following on from 2003's "Less Than Perfect Day" and 2001's "Long Drive Home," "STORIES YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE" is twelve disarmingly honest songs to make your feet tap and your heart ache. In response to a particularly difficult 2004, Sam decided to drop the moniker "the c-minus project" and record a new album under his own name. Gathering his two most important possessions - his new songs and good friends - he set about recording an album. Recorded and produced completely independently over the second half of 2004, and featuring a band including Graeme Trewin of Peabody and Beau Cassidy of Starky, "STORIES YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE" is an intensely personal journey from hard times back to hope. A prolific writer, Sam has also had success co-writing including working with Jenny Queen on her album "Girls Who Cry Need Cake" which has enjoyed considerable success and critical acclaim in the UK and Europe, as well as Australia. And if Sam wasn't busy enough with "STORIES YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE," he recently began work with Jenny on songs for her follow-up. A versatile live performer, Sam is at ease playing with full band, with a guitarist or solo. As well as countless shows of his own, highlights of his live career included playing alongside Bonnie Prince Billy, Lou Barlow, Evan Dando, The Pernice Brothers, Josh Rouse, Hayden, Art of Fighting, Machine Translations, Darren Hanlon and Augie March. Touring up and down the East Coast of Australia many times over, early 2005 saw his first overseas tour, with a visit to the USA for shows in New York, Los Angeles & Washington D.C. In what looks to be a busy year for Sam, he will also tour the UK & Europe for the first time in October 2005. Highlights from his recent US tour included spotting Katie Holmes on the streets of New York, having crowds in Washington D.C. singing along word for word, and of course, exploring Springsteen country in New Jersey. With a love of the road, Sam will also be touring Australia extensively to support the new album. If he can get up to all this in a few weeks touring alone in the States, imagine what will happen back on tour in Australia with his band again. REVIEWS: 'Sam Shinazzi, minus the C-Minus Project moniker, is back with his third album 'Stories You Wouldn't Believe'. The Sydney singer/songwriter got together his band, featuring members of Peabody and Starky, and recorded and produced the album completely independently over the second half of 2004. Songs on the album range from acoustic pop gems to simple melodies that try to implant themselves into your brain. The result is an almost effortless sounding record that is an intensely personal journey from hard times back to hope.' - Sydney Unleashed 'If we're not careful the Chinese are going to have to lose a dog, a rooster or, in my case, a monkey and dub 2005 the year of the singer/songwriter. While it may seem you can't turn around without bumping into some sensitive soul pouring out his heart, there are songwriters and songwriters and among the Jamies and Daniels there lies Australian Sham Shinazzi. Forget Byronesque tales of requited/unrequited love told by misty-eyed, wild haired romantics Shinazzi's tales come direct from the school of life that never quite fits. If you can imagine Morrisey in a tender moment then you get some idea of Stories You Wouldn't Believe. Like real life the songs are angular and fractured, instead of melody and lyrics that flow along serenely, Shinazzie leaps around, this is the self-conscious and stumbling given a voice. Stories You Wouldn't Believe neatly sidesteps grand and florid themes, Sunrise could easily be the exercise-book jottings of an hormonally-charged teenager. And, because the distance between performer and audience is non-existent, Shinazzi makes an instantaneous connection. As you listen to My Friend And A Free Day there's a recognition that Sam Shinazzi is an ordinary man, living an ordinary life. Unashamedly and happily low-fi and basic, Stories You Wouldn't Believe is full of tales you certainly would believe because you don't have to look too far to find yourself. Although on Stories You Wouldn't Believe, Shinazzi is accompanied by a full band this is the work of one man, for A Night To Remember he sits at a piano and bares his soul, a chilling moment from a fine album.' - Net Rhythms Website (UK) 'SAM SHINAZZI is an edgy and talented singer/ songwriter from Sydney, Australia, who has previously been responsible for two albums, 'Less Than Perfect Say' (2003) and last year's 'Long Drive Home', which was recorded as a band under the name The C-Minus Project. Those ironically-titled records suggest a writer on drinking terms with life's trials and tribulations was at large, and Shinazzi's third album (he's now dropped The C-Minus Project moniker) 'Stories You Wouldn't Believe' confirms he's a character who's been nutmegged by fate on more than one occasion. His press release suggests 2004 was a 'difficult' year for Sam, and while it doesn't go into specifics, the intensely personal and disarmingly honest lyrical content of all the dozen songs contained within make it clear that these difficulties may well contain relationship break-ups and the vice-like grip of failure, poverty and disappointment in all their varied and devastating forms. As if to emphasise the kind of thing we're getting into, he even dedicates the album to the late Elliott Smith: another fabulous, sensitive performer who recognised the shadows closing in during his short life. All of which might suggest that 'Stories You Wouldn't Believe' could be an overbearing misery-fest you'll be desirous to avoid after a few wincing plays. But not so. Yes, Sam's staggeringly frank and honest lyrical approach (like a starker, indie Springsteen in places) can be overwhelming - especially on tracks like the blasted indie-folk dirge 'The Drifter' and the all-too-easy-to-relate bleakness of 'Getting Too Old' - but the sharp'n'snappy semi-acoustic indie pop backdrops usually help cushion the blows and ensure the album remains a gripping listen from stem to stern. Not that there's much emotional respite along the way. Indeed, heartfelt opener 'Breakdown' opens with the confused and charged couplet 'Don't you ever get the feeling you're falling apart?/ Don't you ever get the feeling you don't know where to start?' The answers of course are yes and yes, and within the first four minutes or so you're quietly getting dragged into Shinazzi's unforgiving past twelve months. Most of what follows hits home beautifully, too. Songs like 'Until Sunrise', 'Out Of The Question' and the crestfallen 'My Friend & A Free Day' are among the many highlights and are fatalistic gems one and all. 'Until Sunrise' ('You are the best, I'd love to see you right now/ But you're fast asleep and I'm way too drunk to drive') spits a gob of country-tinged pathos into the plot; 'My Friend & A Free Day' is a vivid, neo-anthemic cruise and 'Out Of The Question's stuttery excitement rushes on it's' run in fine style. Besides, only the stoniest of hearts out there could fail to be moved by the song's concluding line: 'Please remember I always meant to brighten up your day...even though it wasn't always that way.' Aaah! Shinazzi's band operate well throughout, without anyone getting too flashy. The supporting cast includes Australian cult heroes like drummer Graham Trewin (Peabody) and bassist Beau Cassidy from ex-Laughing Outlaw power popsters Starky, and all concerned play with restraint, only opening up when Sam requires it, like on the upbeat'n'defiant 'Game Over' - the one song where the guitar riffs shoot from the hip - and the closing 'Trying Not To Think About It': the one instance where the album gets anything like a groove going. This song also has a pleasing Costello-ish edge of menace stirring in it's' loins and closes the record on a surprising note of positivity, with Sam repeating 'Take the time...accelerate...move on, you're OK!' Which, we can only hope, is indicative of Sam Shinazzi's improved state of mind and circumstance. Because, if there's any justice still left in this murky ole world, Sam Shinazzi's 'Stories You Wouldn't Believe' deserve comprehension on a far wider scale. Or, as the author so succinctly puts it on 'I Don't Belong Here': 'I belong in your heart/ I should be on your stereo, play me nice and loud.' Sound advice, all things considered, if you ask me.' - 8/10 - Whisperin' and Hollerin' '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; â€-Less Than Perfect Day' from 2003 and 2001's â€-Long Drive Home' were released as by â€-the c-minus project'. But to most of us Shinazzi is probably best known for co-writing the bulk of Jenny Queen's album â€-Girls Who Cry Need Cake'. This is recommendation enough; any one with a hand in composing classics, yes classics, like â€-Drowning Slowly' or â€-Due South', both on Queen's debut album, has nothing more to prove. If James Blunt can top the U.K. charts with â€-You're Beautiful' then, if there is any justice in this world, Shinazzi's â€-The Drifter' which is not even the highlight on â€-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 â€-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 â€-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, â€-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, â€-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. â€-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 â€-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.' - Pennyblack Music ''Stories You Wouldn't Believe' is a collection a simple, honest, heart-felt songs that everyone can relate to. With help from members of Peabody, Starky and The Devoted Few the songs on this album are more up-beat than the ones featured on 'Less Than Perfect Day' but each still contains that genuine, down to earth feel. That feeling that makes Sam Shinazzi's music simply lovely.' - Soap Box Notes 'Sometimes, in this over-digitised, over-produced and over-hyped world it's refreshing to listen to something that has an honest-to-goodness simplicity about it. Sam Shinazzi's second album is like that. Twelve straightforward songs that stand or fall by certain principles - the music is unadorned by any unnecessary elaboration; no smart-ass sampling, electronic tomfoolery or so-called cutting edge worldview. Just Sam, his voice and guitar and straightforward bass, drums and keys backing. The songs start and they finish. They use major chords and minor chords. Now, the more cynical of you might think; 'Hang on, that means it's plain boring.' But that could not be further from the truth. Because sometimes the simple way is the best way. After all, rock music doesn't have to be rocket science, does it? Occasionally there is a slight diversion into country rock - the mandolin on 'My Friend And A Free Day' provides a lovely counterpoint while 'Scotty Come Home''s lyrics - namechecking Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs in a song of love and loss - has an addictive guitar figure that bears repeated listening. Stories You Wouldn't Believe is at times mellow, poignant and melancholy, but has an honest, almost home-made charm to it. After creating quite a buzz in Australia, Sam - who has played alongside Bonnie Prince Billy, Evan Dando, Josh Rouse and the Pernice Brothers - toured the US earlier this year, playing in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Later this year he plans to stop off in the UK. You should check him out if you get the chance. Meanwhile, grab a copy of this old-fashioned, intensely personal and curiously satisfying album. Then maybe you'll believe the stories about him.' - Erasing Clouds Website 'Sydney based singer/songwriter Sam Shinazzi releases his third release on the excellent Laughing Outlaw Records label in September 2005. Sam has opened shows for Evan Dando, Josh Rouse, Hayden and Augie March in the US & Australia - he is due in the UK later this year. What will determine Sam's route will be his song writing, and with the abundance of singer song-writers in the Americana 'mould' the question is do Sam's songs stand out and do you return to play them again and again? On first listen the songs drift in and out, but on second listen they start taking hold of you, and with a full band in support the songs are superbly produced. On 'Scotty Come Home' Sam sees Natalie Merchant in an ex or current girl friend - it's a terrific song with a wonderful chorus. Treading familiar territory as his fellow country man Karl Broadie - it all depends how much you like that sort of stuff. Overall the songs carry the motion, fine melodies and strong poignant lyrics winning the day. Dedicating the record to Elliot Smith, Sam's influences can be heard throughout this fine record. I'm not sure if he's different enough to stand out, but 'Stories You Wouldn't Believe' is a good place to find out.' - Americana-UK Website (UK)

Details

Artist: Sam Shinazzi
Title: Stories You Wouldn't Believe
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 13/12/2005
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 634479225833

Credits