Singer-songwriter Sam Robbins drops his sophomore album, Bigger Than In Between, produced by Neilson Hubbard, engineered by Dylan Alldredge, and mastered by Jim DeMain.
Talking about the album, Sam shares, “Much of this album was written in quiet moments during Covid lockdown when I was experiencing a deep shift in the way I viewed the world and my place in it. I’ve never been prouder of any songs I’ve written because they were written solely to connect and communicate my vision and heart to you.”
Born in New Hampshire and now based in Nashville, in 2018, Sam appeared on The Voice. Adam Levine said, “You have a gorgeous, gorgeous voice.” Later, Sam was invited back for the Comeback Stage, where he was mentored by Kelsea Ballerini.
Sam’s plush sound conjures up suggestions of artists such as James Taylor, John Denver, John Mayer, and Jackson Browne.
The album features the talents of Sam Robbins (vocals, acoustic guitar), Neilson Hubbard (drums, percussion), Michael Rinne (bass), Juan Solorzano (electric guitar, pedal steel), and Hailey Neal (backing vocals, vocal arrangements).
Comprising 12-tracks, the album begins with the title track, a low-slung, gleaming tune showcasing Sam’s evocative voice, soft and tinged with whispery timbres, complemented by the luscious, velvety tones of Hailey Neal.
“But I feel what my eyes can’t see / There must be something bigger than in between / From every life I’ve ever lived this is what I’ve gleaned / There must be something bigger than in between.”
Commenting on the song, Sam says, “‘Bigger Than In Between’ is the first song that I wrote for this project. It was written in April 2020, during the peak of COVID lockdown. Written with the same chords as Stephen Foster’s 1854 folk song “Hard Times Come Again No More,” this song was the beginning of an awakening that is present throughout the album. It chronicles my understanding that there is so much more to life than how I was living before, as it was slowly being revealed to me.”
Highlights include “Wouldn’t Change a Thing,” a song about Sam’s frustration with the music industry. Opening on an acoustic guitar, the song flows into a loose feeling, potent rhythm, topped by Sam’s deluxe vocals, imbuing the lyrics with vibrant tones.
“While they’re out living their dreams / They must be so happy / But maybe it’s all bullshit / If I had millions of dollars, or millions of fans / It wouldn’t change a thing about who I am.”
“Reverence” travels on gritty guitars and a bouncing rhythm, while Sam infuses the lyrics with smooth, rock-a-billy flavors. While “Will It Ever Feel” rides a tasty mid-tempo rhythm as a drawling steel guitar gives the tune creamy, nostalgic textures.
The rich, buttery flow of “Another Wall to Build” hits the sweet spot, offering indulgent layers of gliding harmonics as Sam’s voice imbues the lyrics with tender savors. “All I Know,” gentle and alluring, allows Sam to display the sheer charisma of his voice, low and redolent.
Bigger Than In Between is superb, dripping with scrumptious melodies, reflective lyrics, and the wonderfully painted voice of Sam Robbins.