Chemical City

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Chemical City
Studio album by Sam Roberts
Released April 11, 2006
Recorded 2004-2005
Genre Rock
Length 47:56
Label Universal Music Canada
Producer Joseph Donovan
Sam Roberts chronology
We Were Born in a Flame
(2003)We Were Born in a Flame2003
Chemical City
Love at the End of the World
(2008)Love at the End of the World2008

Chemical City is the second studio album by Canadian musician Sam Roberts, released in Canada on April 11, 2006, and in the United States on May 16, 2006. The album debuted at #3 on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 10,000 units in its first week.[1]

The first single from the album is "The Gate". The second single from the album is "Bridge To Nowhere". The third single from the album is "With A Bullet".

Sarnia, Ontario is sometimes called Chemical City, and is rumoured to be the inspiration for the album title.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Chart Attack 4/5 stars[3]
Jam! 3.5/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork 6.7/10[5]

Jo-Ann Greene of AllMusic praised the album for capturing '70s classic rock in terms of packaging and tracks that are reminiscent of New Model Army, the Rolling Stones and Small Faces, calling it "a sumptuous helping of songs with strong melodies and anthemic choruses vying with more subtle, shaded pieces, all filled with meaty lyrics that are easily the equal of the music."[2] Cory D. Byron of Pitchfork also commended Roberts for his stripped down singer-songwriter take on classic rock but was more favorable to the record's upbeat tracks than its slower-paced ones, concluding that, "Ultimately the ballads do more to weigh it down than lift it up, but Chemical City still has plenty to offer fans of old-fashioned rock."[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Sam Roberts.

No. Title Length
1. "The Gate" 5:57
2. "Bridge to Nowhere" 3:09
3. "With a Bullet" 4:00
4. "Mind Flood" 8:09
5. "Uprising Down Under" 4:35
6. "Mystified, Heavy" 4:50
7. "An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay" 3:13
8. "The Bootleg Saint" 4:08
9. "The Resistance" 5:13
10. "A Stone Would Cry Out" 4:36


Adapted from the booklet of Chemical City.[6]


  • Sam Roberts - Vocals, guitars, keyboards, strings, co-producer
  • Dave Nugent - Guitars, backing vocals
  • Eric Fares - Keyboards, backing vocals, acoustic guitar
  • James Hall - Bass
  • Josh Tragger - Drums, percussion on tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9
  • Bill Anthopoulos - Drums, percussion on tracks 4 and 7
  • Matt Mays - Vocals, guitar on track 5
  • Danielle Duval - Vocals on tracks 8 and 9
  • George "El Condor" Donoso - Additional drums on track 4

Technical staff

  • Joseph Donovan - Producer, co-producer, engineer
  • Mark Howard - Co-producer, engineer
  • Don Murnaghan - Studio assistant
  • Garnet Armstrong - Art director, design
  • Susan Michalek - Design
  • Ken Dewar - Illustrations
  • David Gillespie - Photography
  • Dave Spencer - Manager
  • Patrick Sambrook - Co-manager


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[7] Gold 50,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Sam Roberts' 'City' enters at No. 3". Jam!. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  2. ^ a b Greene, Jo-Ann. "Chemical City - Sam Roberts". AllMusic. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ CHARTattack review Archived May 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (April 13, 2006). "Roberts Sam: Chemical City". Jam!. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b D. Byron, Cory (July 13, 2006). "Sam Roberts: Chemical City". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ Chemical City (booklet). Sam Roberts. Universal Music Canada. 2006. 0249852006. 
  7. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Sam Roberts – Chemical City". Music Canada. Retrieved April 9, 2017. 

External links[edit]