4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2012
Interstellar has me feeling the way Antony Gonzalez (M83) or Jack Tatum (wild Nothing) did putting my prejudice against retro sounding music in a headlock, whilst delighting me with effervescent synths, warm, clean guitar tones, delicate drum machines and gossamer bass lines. Frankie's music sounds great inspite of the fact that it's heavily influenced by 80's synth/dream pop.
The Title track has been compared to The Cure's Plainsong with the synth explosions being the obvious point of reference but i think it's more playful and less overtly epic sounding, pulling you in opposed to flooring you. Know Me can't help be compared to the cocteau twins and the Sundays with the tender vocals, soothing guitar and light synths but it neatly sits along side those bands by pulling all these elements together seamlessly. Night Swim and Daylight Sky's enticingly New Orderesque bass and synths also sound great with Frankie's dreamy voice other the top of them. And there are even moments where this album sucessfully leaves 80's town, take the satie like piano in Apple's For The Sun, or the amiina like ambience to the opening of air Of Wings.
For those already familiar wih frankie Rose's former endeavours this album may sound a little too smooth, considering the vivian Girls or the crytsal Stilts would seldomly be described as pretty, tender or inviting. But even they'd be hard pressed to deny that Frankie's transition to a more accessible sound isn't anything but a convincing one and if she has disappointed the riot grrrls and the indie punks she should rest assured that a whole new demographic of listeners is sure to take her to their hearts.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2012
One of my favourite new albums at the moment.
I got Frankie Rose's previous album (Frankie Rose and the Outs) a few months back after it was recommended by Amazon, and thought it was pretty good. But this solo album represents a step up in my opinion.
Frankie Rose was a side-kick in various New York rock bands (Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls). These groups' garage rock is a bit noisy and monotonous for my taste, so I was a bit hesitant before buying the previous album by Frankie Rose and the Outs.
But I found that it was actually rather soothing and melodious. Frankie Rose's music has a haunting, psychedelic quality which puts it a cut above the punkish sound of her previous bands.
Basically her latest album develops this direction even further. Frankie has ditched the grungey guitars for sparkling synthesizers, producing a warmer and more mature sound that places her even more firmly in the category of "dream pop".
But she has fortunately not gone the whole hog towards commercial pop. On the contrary, her music is wonderfully edgy and mysterious. I love it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2012
At just 32:34 long, little is what it truly is, but masterpiece is the more important word here and has you wanting more!
Whilst listening to this album, I was reminded of the guitar work of the Stone Roses, mixed with the sound of the Cranberries, a hint of the Yardbirds, a touch of Chris Isaak and, on some tracks, a New Age sound of ... well, I can only describe it as Regina Spektor in an echo chamber or with the big sound production of Phil Spector. Now, my music taste is wide and varied, but I only know what I know; and more esteemed reviewers with differing ears for music will be reminded of other people and bands - some have suggested the Zombies, the Cure (both with a female singer, of course) and Debbie Harry. That's fine by me.
I do not want readers of this review to think that Frankie Rose has nothing original to bring to the party. Although there are a lot of reminders here of others, I think this is a marvellous record, full of all the goodness which came out of the music of the 60's, 70's and 80's, but brought up to date. As a devotee of the Friday edition of the Guardian, which reviewed this album last week (16 March 2012), I read the review, did some investigations on Frankie Rose, caught the previews here on Amazon, listened on MySpace and YouTube and, although I still have more to do, thought it worth trying it out. It is money well spent and the reverb sound just fascinates me.
Of course there are only great tracks on the album - nothing less than brilliance here. Apart from the guitar work, which I love, there are beautiful vocal harmonies, swirling musical soundscapes, the sound of swimming organ playing and blockbuster drum beats. Favourite tracks include the title track, which opens the album. It starts out as very new-age before livening up into an up-tempo beauty. "Pair of Wings" is a slow, incessant almost hymnal incantation of wanting to fly and "Apples For The Sun" is an absolute joy, using piano, organ and voice to blend beautifully.
One thing I am disappointed about is that the prevalence for an increasing number of albums in digi-packs to have limited information and packaging is fully in evidence here. I would have liked some lyrics, because it's tough trying to work them out (I know, I should try much harder), a couple of photos of Frankie and, generally, more information about all that went into the making of the album. Having said that, at well under a tenner, I will survive bravely - in fact, I will luxuriate - on the music itself and her adorable voice.
I love this album so much, I am now going to hunt down the music she made with her other bands - The Outs, Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls and the Vivian Girls. Wish this intrepid hunter luck.