Sam Vicari
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Sam Vicari

Crown Point, Indiana, United States

Crown Point, Indiana, United States
Band Pop Rock

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"Sam Vicari's "Keep Careful" by Jenna Slesinski"

I can pick up on lyrics pretty quickly. Usually after two or three listens I’ll know most, if not all of a song. Sometimes by the end of one listen I can get a chorus down, if I focus. Sam Vicari’s lyrics on his hidden gem of an album “Keep Careful” will follow me throughout my day with different lines or phrases floating in and out of my head. This album has an obvious cohesion within its songs. As an avid listener of bands such as the New Pornographers and Fleet Foxes, bands that carry an obvious and identifiable style from song to song, these variations of a basic pattern sometimes shows more craftsmanship than an overly technical piece.

It’s often said that it’s hard to make a song seem simple and almost effortless, but it is the simple songs with natural refrains that often seep into your head with their comfort and familiarity. The songs on “Keep Careful” are not forced or overcomplicated and overworked; instead, they are honest, and easy, with a refreshing dose of sincerity and kindness. Vicari’s songs, although simple are not doused with irony, like the Magnetic Fields (which I love don’t get me wrong, but they have their own time and place); conversely the vocals are earnest without seeming hungry or trite. He knows how to write a perfect song. Also, the fact that the flow of the album as a whole is wonderfully done adds to the overall quality of the album as a cohesive piece of music. If I had to place this album into a category, I would call it “Rock for Nice Guys”.

Vicari’s music is the kind of music you wish you had found while still in high school. It’s the types of songs that you feel speak for you at such a formidable time of your life, that even after those four years have passed they still ring true with their catchy lyrics and easy melodies. The worlds created in these songs are so relatable that it seems almost impossible for a listener not to insert themselves and their lives.

Now all this honesty felt within the songs does not mean that they don’t still rock. The music itself combines pop-punk sensibilities with sixties influences. Bringing to mind comparisons to Elvis Costello, Green Day, and Big Star and the vocal qualities of a full voiced Elliott Smith, Vicari’s music has a comforting familiarity. With songs like “Driveway” that sound like they could come from a Green Day album, and “Like an Island” displaying his Bacharach-pop sensibilities. Vicari’s songs may not flip the definition of rock music on its head, but it is familiar and hopeful without being boring, or preachy.

It is the refrains of “Sleep When You Want, Wake When You Please” and “Driveway” that will most often float through my conscious so much so that sometimes I’ll have to stop myself from dancing in my seat or at least bobbing my head in time to the music in my mind. These songs are two of my favorites on the album. There is something indescribable about these songs that causes them to stick with you and also causes you to return to them time and again.

I think that the emotions expressed within this album can stir the feelings that make us feel simultaneously vulnerable and confident and therefore profoundly human. Even some of the songs’ titles say emit these feelings before they’re even heard like “Where Do We Go From Here” and “Please Come Around”. These universal questions posed in refrains and melodies that may seem simple, in my opinion make them not only more relatable but also more direct.

“Keep Careful” is a wonderfully strong album that won’t beat you over the head with any one component of the music. Sam Vicari has found a conscience sonic balance and keeps an even hand within his wonderfully crafted album. This album is like the sibling of a close friend, its features and qualities are familiar, and yet the sibling has its own unique attributes and the ability to be there for you in different capacities than your original friend. You wouldn’t get rid of your original friend, or ditch other bands for Vicari, but both can be a welcomed, gratifying addition to your life. - Guerrilla Music Review


Discography

Sam Vicari (self-titled EP)-2007

Keep Careful-2009

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Bio

Sam Vicari began playing under his own name in 2005 after spending his high school years playing in several different bands. He's recorded several home demos and EP's, and recorded his first full length LP, "Keep Careful," in January 2009. "Keep Careful" was recorded at Phantom Manor in Chicago, IL with Mike Lust (Wilco, The Gunsy, Mannequin Men, Sybris) and will be released in December 2009.

Sam Vicari has played with Jeremy Jay (K Records), Pansy Division, The Reputation (Lookout Records), and the Poison Control Center.

Goals for the future: Keep writing, keep recording, keep touring, stay positive!