For his fifth studio album — and second under the moniker the Sam Roberts Band — he's throwing that all out the window. Teaming up with founding Killing Joke member/producer Martin Glover (a.k.a. Youth), as well as legendary album mixer Dave Bascombe (Tears for Fears' Songs from the Big Chair), Lo-Fantasy finds Roberts shifting his FM radio-evoking tunes to the dance floor and creating a heady, wine-soaked mix in the process.
Starting out with the disco-fied grooves of "Shapeshifters," Roberts' trademark arena-ready choruses and anthemic growls are filtered through the textures of '90s-era festival rock, evoking, by turns, Primal Scream's worn-out acid house boogie ("We're All In This Together"), dub-y club odysseys (the Clash-inspired "Angola") and stadium-sized pop rock ("Kid Icarus").
The album's deluxe edition contains a myriad of remixes from Youth, creative partner Eddie Banda and Primal Scream technician Andrew Weatherall, who created a downtempo mix perfect for those who prefer their listening experiences with a fat spliff in hand.
And while throwaways like album closer "Golden Hour" and "Never Enough" do little to quiet detractors who have dismissed him as nothing more than a CanCon pretty boy, those willing to get past their preconceived notions may be surprised to find that Lo-Fantasy is perhaps the most dynamic recording of Roberts career.
Read an interview with Sam Roberts here. (Universal)