on 28 April 2014
Vincent's Frankmusik project has had a bumpy ride since the heady days of his first fully released album ('Complete Me'). After a poorly received second album, he parted ways with his record company and at one point even abandoned the Frankmusik moniker altogether.
So it's to his enormous credit that this fourth album (self-financed and which Vincent not only wrote and produced but also got heavily involved in design, promotion, distribution for) is a triumphant return to form. Whilst his voice has always been his biggest asset, with 'By Nicole' he has found a stronger, yet more emotional tone. Same goes for his production, which is densely intricate and yet often sweeps you along as it builds and builds (see in particular the singles 'Ephemeral Summer' & 'Dear Nicole').
Vincent's lyrics are superb throughout. Detailing the bittersweet nature of lost love and its transformative impact, there is reflection and plenty of self-criticism. Other than the singles (also including the excellent 'These Streets') it is the slower tracks that particularly stand out. 'Go' has a huge, surging chorus and 'Conclusions' sees Vincent at his most heartbroken.
Which isn't to say that there aren't also several more upbeat moments which have more in common with his earlier work. 'Uh Oh' is immediately appealing, whilst 'Stabilizher' and 'Misdemeanor' are on the suface sparky electro pop and yet have intriguing lyrics and hidden depths.
It's a brilliant listen and certainly my favourite album of the year so far.