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.