Samantha 7

Samantha 7

Profile / C2 Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


C.C. Deville might come off as being the clown prince of '80s rock these days. He's survived harrowing days of drug addiction and come out of it with the same unbridled energy he had during the glory days of Poison. Yet some people probably winced when they heard that not only was Deville starting his own side band, Samantha 7, but that he would be the group's lead vocalist as well.

Well, stop wincing. For all the antics Deville has been involved in, he proves on Samantha 7's 11-song, self-titled debut that he's no idiot when it comes to making music, and this disc, while a tad short, proves that fantasies can still come true, even when you've lived out most of your own.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With a backing band of bassist/vocalist Krys Baratto and drummer Francis Ruiz, Deville and crew pound out their music with the same intensity as a punk band from the '70s would. They come in, deliver the goods, and get out before the bulk of the party guests know what hit them. And maybe that's the way good rock and roll should be.

Tracks like "Hanging Onto Jane," "Slave Laura" and "Framed" not only capture a humorous side of Deville that maybe he couldn't express in Poison, but it proves to the world that the man can actually sing. Granted, he won't be doing opera any time soon (and I think Deville would readily admit that; my dealing with him, while pleasant, was a brief encounter), but he's no slouch when it comes to his own material. Some may say that he wrote the songs to fit his voice... well, what's wrong with that?

Deville even manages to evoke a little sympathy on songs like "Cover Girl" and "I Wanna Be Famous," the latter a portrait of looking at the high-life through the fogged-up windows of outside. In a way, it's strange to hear - after all, Deville has tasted the forbidden fruit of success, and he took one seriously big drink from its nectar bowl. Yet it is humbling to hear someone like Deville pining for those days again - adding an air of humanity to the disc. How refreshing!

The only qualms I have with Samantha 7 are minor, to say the least. I wish the album was longer (it clocks in at just under a half-hour), and I would have liked to have heard Deville go absolutely nuts on the guitar like I know he's capable of doing. Then again, maybe that's what everyone was expecting, so Deville decided to totally distance himself from his persona in Poison and played more controlled, subdued solos.

Samantha 7 hasn't gotten the attention that it deserves, but Deville should be able to look back on this disc, smile, and tell himself that he did indeed prove to the world that he was more than capable of making music without the trappings of the band that made him a superstar. Let's hope that the powers that be get a slap across the face, wake up and start calling people's attention to this disc... it's worth every penny of your money, as well as every second of your time.

Rating: A-

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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Profile / C2 Records, and is used for informational purposes only.