#40: Sam Prekop

Posted on Oct 21, 2005

As Floyd Gondolli once said:

I like simple pleasures, like butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth. That’s just me. That’s just something that I enjoy.

While in the past I’ve certainly enjoyed a tad more musical variety than Joe American, so much of my musical taste essentially comes down to three questions: Is it pretty? Does it rock? Does it have an enjoyable rhythm? If an album makes me answer “Yes” to two or more of those questions, we’re in good shape. In addition, if the record is unmistakably unique, that’s when I make room in the Top 54.

There’s no shame in having other criteria. We’re all critics when it comes to music! Some people like hip-hop and hate country. Some people are totally into a scene and judge accordingly. Sam Prekop’s 1999 self-titled release might not do so well on criteria such as these. Is it a jazz record? From the guy behind The Sea And Cake? I thought they were a pop band?

But I could care less about all that (except The Sea And Cake is really good, too). This is a breezy record, instantly evoking those sunny spring days, before the weather really warms up. Its shuffling rhythms and gentle guitar work calm the nerves, and Prekop’s hushed vocals don’t upset that dynamic. There’s strings, and horns, and piano on various tracks, even some synthetic rhythms on ‘Faces and People’, but the album remains startlingly cohesive. To me, it’s a big benefit to be able to enjoy a record while doing something else, and this record certainly fits that bill.