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.