New Red Archives (1991, 2012 Reissue)
Soar is one of only 2 Samiam records that was missing from my budding collection of their full length albums (the last one left that I don't have is Billy). So far my favorite of the bunch has been Clumsy, but they've all been pretty good. The one that I've liked the least was their first self titled one, so I was slightly apprehensive on whether or not I would like Soar, as it is Samiam's sophomore effort.
I had no reason at all to be concerned, the leap in songwriting quality from the self titled debut to Soar is remarkable. It's so much more melodic and well paced. To me, Samiam;s debut was just a little too shouty and 'punk rock' for a band that was so obviously striving for a poppier sound. They shelved all of the over the top angst and crafted an album full of energetic, passionate songs.
There are so many highlights, but for me to shining moments are "Slumbering," "Someone's Got To Lose" and "Sky Flying By." They're just perfectly crafted. I am extremely excited to pick up Billy next. After hearing what the band achieved on Soar and knowing what they accomplished on Clumsy; the fact that Billy is the album that got them signed to a major makes me think it's probably pretty great. I guess we'll see.
Samiam "Sky Flying By":
Samiam - "Slumbering":