Mr. Sam And The People People – People People People People! (Free Dirt Records)
There is something irresistibly endearing about the music from People People People People! the debut album from Mr. Sam And The People People.
Cumbersomely playful title aside, the nine tracks that make up this record are uncompromisingly positive, making for one of the most joyful albums to come out in some time.
The project is the brainchild of New Orleans-based musician Sam Gelband. He filled out his band with other local greats including Sam Doores of The Deslondes, Gina Leslie, and The Lostines. Gelband envisioned the band and album as a vehicle to celebrate love and joy – and succeeds wildly.
The album draws in influences that span the spectrum from Indie pop to classic R&B, at times sounding like he’s channeling a 1970s Andrew Gold (especially on the opening title track and “Get Up Early”), other times the 90s power pop band The Rembrandts and occasionally Otis Redding.
“Get Along” could be a classic 60s pop anthem. Together with “Hey You!” the core of the album is the kind of music that could draw the whole family together — young and old alike.
Even on the goofiest track here – “Thank you, Conan O’Brien,” likely the first song ever dedicated to the SNL writer/late show host – his charm is enough to take the song past cringy and to the endearing territory. And the songs are memorable.
Mr. Sam stated that his intent was to draw people in to the reciprocal feeling of gratitude for caring for others and being cared for by them. That’s decidedly a pretty ambitious goal, but one that’s certainly accomplished by the close of the record. People People People People! is a surprisingly satisfying album that’s bound to affect even the most cynical music fans.
Music and lyrics for all songs are by Sam Gelband. The album was produced by Sam Gelband and Ross Farbe; and recorded, mixed and engineered by Ross Farbe. The album was recorded live to tape at The Tigermen Den in New Orleans, and mastered by Burt Murder.