We Need To Talk About Frank

Come on. There’s an elephant in on the room blog. A certain album. You know, the ones that every publication, from The Daily Telegraph to Pitchfork, is wetting themselves about. You know, the one that gets mentioned in the same breath as mid 70 Stevie Wonder, early 70s Marvin Gaye and early 80s Prince.

Come on, guys. Let’s talk about Frank.

I saw Nolan recently and he said he and Joey had been chatting about it. That they liked it but it just felt a bit standard R’n’B noodley for them. I did my best not to splutter indignantly. After all, I’m one of those for whom I’ve listened to very little else since I bought it. It has blown my mind, nothing less. Hell, I think it’s probably even living up to the hype.

So why’s it so good? Well, he’s got a voice like honey. It’s not autotuned to fuck. It’s classy and it draws from the past while sounding incredibly contemporary. I love how it has the veil of hiphop hanging over it, but really it’s an out and out soul record. I’m not even sure I’d call it RnB.

Nolan, I know that maybe you feel it sounds a bit samey to start with, but stick with because my god the songs come to life. Oh my, the songs. Those SONGS. And those lyrics. He’s a fucking smart songwriter. He captures the loneliness and narrow lives of the rich, of crack addicts, he questions himself, his sexuality, his life, his relationships, and then he goes and sings a 9 minute epic starting in ancient Egypt and ending with a pimp now being forced to pay the woman he pimps to have sex with him. This is ambition turned up to 11, if you’ll excuse the Spinal Tap-ism.

But in the end, it comes down to that thing we’ve been talking about since we started this fine endeavour: authenticity, attitude, songs – and MEANING IT. The guy has got it all. He really has. Give him your time. There’s a reason this is getting praise: because it’s, hands down, the album of the year. I haven’t even heard the next 5 months releases and I’m telling you, the game’s over.

Stuff …

Thought I’d drop in some quick pithy reviews of recently bought stuff.

Passion Pit – ‘Gossamer’: I like Passion Pit. Loved the last album though considering that its synth based pop I never found it a constant presence, but when I had it, I love it. This one is a definite forward step. It is pure pop. The whole album. All big pop songs. All pretty darkly lyrically mind. There are pure synth pop tracks, a couple of pretty good R&B variants on synth pop + the best song that ABBA never wrote (seriously). It sounds like it would be all over the shop but for me it works. Nice album. Good driving music … and my daughters name (Silvia) pops up big style in my fave track.

Dirty Projectors – ‘Swing Lo Magellen’: 2010 was a great music year, Bitte Ocre was a great album from that year (as was Manners by Passion Pit). This is better. Yes it could be accused of being a bit too clever for its own good but here the songs are strong enough to pull it off the length of the album. Good work. The girls voice is incredible too (remember the Major Lazer track?) she should get lead vocals on more tracks

Purity Ring – ‘Shrines’: I’ve waited for a while for this one having heard the singles a while back. I really like this. Odd electronic, post dubsteppy kind of thing with a cute vocal and some tight songs. Its a bit Fever Ray. A bit Knife etc etc. Have a listen.

I’m a’ruin’ you c**t

Listen, I know I’m *really* late to this, but good god WHAT a song this is. Just cannot stop listening to it. LOVE the coyness of her vocal and the Mickey Mouse jumper mixed with the absolute filth coming out of her mouth. What a statement.

Whether or not it’s intended as a diss to Nicki Minaj, it’s one hell of a way to say you’ve arrived on the scene. Reminds me of Get Yr Freak On era Missy Elliot, with that housy vibe going on. Influenced as much by club music as hip hop.

Basically, I’m completely addicted to this song. You?