Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: 'NONA' by Sam Means

Once upon a time there was a little band called The Format, who, in one person writing this blog's opinion, was one of the greatest pop groups of all time.  After two exceptional records the band unfortunately decided to part ways, making that one person writing this blog almost cry.  But, like the phoenix, or Batman, something great came from this demise.  On the one hand this came in the form of fun., headed by Nate Ruess, who released an excellent first album and then took the world by storm with this year's Some Nights.  The other half of The Format, Sam Means, has kept a bit of a lower profile.  Not to say he hasn't been busy.  I mean, cripes, in addition to the music he's been intermittently releasing, he wrote the soundtrack for a movie.  Not a bad gig if you can get it, I imagine.  But now means is out with a five track EP, NONA, and he really gets to stretch his musical legs.

NONA starts out with the bouncy "I Will Follow (That's All)", really setting the tone for the rest of the EP.  Each track is pure pop goodness, simple and bubbly but skillfully done with catchy instruments deceptively deep and fun lyrics.  Even "Will You Hang Around?", which starts slow and keeps on a a notably slower pace, will keep your foot tapping with its backing percussion.  It's all very reminiscent of The Format's early work, which is about the biggest compliment one could give an album of any genre.

There is some music that works well in the summer, on a dreary day, in the background while working, or while just lounging about.  It seems to just sneak into any occasion, settle in seamlessly, and work without question.  NONA is one of those albums.  Did it come just in time for summer, for sitting on the porch in the evening heat with a cold beer?  Absolutely.  Will you still be listening to it during a grey day as the snow comes down in December?  Absolutely.  Where and when you listen to it is, obviously your choice.  There's only one thing that's certain: Sam Means needs to release more music, soon and often.  We'll all be better off for it.



  1. Great review I really enjoyed Nona. It remind me of the format but it also has it's own thing going on. I want to hear more from Sam.

  2. UK,

    I totally agree. I love that it sounds enough like The Format to be familiar but definitely isn't just a carbon copy and has its own identity. Thanks for you comment!

  3. Loved this EP too.
    I hope he releases a full length record.

    It's sort of The Format but less of the theatrics and more of the pop. Very focused and I love the production, sounds like 60s pop.

    It's great!