The first thing that strikes you upon hearing Sam Wickens for the very first time is his voice. Deep, evocative, mature beyond his years. So is his songwriting. Compared to Jeff Buckley, John Martin, Death Cab For Cutie, Tom Waits, Sam is a soulful writer and performer with a restless creativity, conveying a personal blend of Electronic, Soul, Blues, Gospel, Folk and Indie. All I've Seen is his debut album.
From the first chords of the opening track Falling, you are immediately drawn in by Wickens'vocal. He's clearly showing right from the start he's more than able to sing the high notes too. Musically, the track simply nails its title, you almost get the physical sense of falling down while you listen. "my head is filled with thoughts that I can't let you know..."
Cliffside is a dark atmospheric track that plays with the listener's imagination and evokes the rainy scenery by the sea. The catchy phrase "you just keep on running" will get into your head so much so that you may relate to the song in a way that it makes you run away from something you don't enjoy in life (perhaps a relationship you don't wanna be in), make you finally do the decision you have been thinking of forever.
Forest is another fine example of an atmospheric track, this time brightening the mood with the refreshing piano and overall instrumentation. Again, it makes you wanna close your eyes and imagine. Imagine a fantasy world, seeing the sun shining through the trees. Anything peaceful.
Ravens & Crows was the first single we reviewed from this album. The cello and drums are dominant instruments here, creating a dramatic backround to a song that could be best described as the album highlight.
Closing track Jericho is the most upbeat from this collection. And feels the most optimistic too. As if there was a silver lining behind every cloud.
All I've Seen is an impressive debut album that brings the gifted Sam Wickens among the biggest stars of the industry.