Home Read Classic Album Review: Sam Roberts | We Were Born In A Flame

Classic Album Review: Sam Roberts | We Were Born In A Flame

The Montreal pop-rocker cements his status as a CanCon star with his debut album.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


It took just one six-song EP to turn Montreal’s Sam Roberts into a bona fide CanCon rock star last year.

That may sound like a pretty big achievement, and to Roberts it doubtlessly was. But really, that was the easy part. Now comes the tough bit — proving it all wasn’t just some big fluke. Thankfully, I are happy to report Roberts comes through his trial by fire with flying colours on his aptly named full-length debut We Were Born In A Flame. Essentially an extension of The Human Condition EP — the album repeats one cut from that disc, along with re-recorded versions of two more tracks — the 14-song Flame capably showcases the same likable qualities that earned Roberts his sudden success. The Beatles-inspired songcraft and vocals, the power-pop guitar crunch, the hippie-dippie guitar strum, the gorgeous harmonies and addictive hooks tossed off with apparent effortlessness; they’re all here once again. Only this time they’ve been joined by bits of arch Ray Davies lyricism, a dash of soaring Byrdsian jangle, some lightly psychedelic excursions, some fuzzy garage-pop, a touch of reggae and even an ironic ode to socialism (The Canadian Way). If his last release made him famous, heaven only knows where this one will take him — though, incidentally, I hear the Prime Minister’s gig is going to be available soon.