November 30, 2008

Review: Frankmusik's Three Little Words EP

Vincent Frank - Frankmusik - has just released the first teaser from his 2009 album, Complete Me. I've said before that I think this will be a major record. I expect the mainstream media in the UK to pick up on that fact in late December and January as they anoint their ones to watch. That Madonna's own Stuart Price produced this brings instant credibility. The 3 Little Words EP is old school in the sense that it's not a set of remixes, but a proper short-player with 3 unique tracks and an alternate recording of the title track.

Price's new mix of indie single 3 Little Words (video below) is actually shorter, clocking in at an airtight 2:48. On the one hand, it's crisper, choppier and more treble friendly, but I find the 80's rock "guitar" on the bridge a bit radio-craven. The online-only remixes added to the EP are fine, but like Sam Sparro's Black And Gold, the original is so solid that it doesn't benefit from mixing.

It's hard to believe Frank has relegated Run Away From Trouble to b-side status. The song, which resides in the same moody underworld favored by Ultravox, is a completely different mood from Words or any of his free MP3s floating around. This would have been a perfect "side two" track in the days of vinyl; check out the layers of massive orchestral synth beds, military percussion and wailing vocals around 2:45. Gorgeous.

Better Off As Two is standard issue Frankmusik, if "standard issue" means better than most electropop singles today. Available only on the physical CD, this squizzy uptempo is buoyant, catchy and, again, album-worthy. My only other comment about the song is this: Vincent Frank likes to get undressed.

Bravely, Frank closes the EP with the Black Gardenia Mix of the title song, an acoustic piano recording, perhaps to prove that he can move beyond all the gizmo wizardry displayed previously. It works, but it's a bit highwire as his voice quivers up and down the scales. Despite the occasional flat note, this version makes a case that Vincent Frank is a rare commodity in the DIY electronic music field: a techno noodler who can actually carry an emotion with his unadorned voice.

For UK fans, get it online at iTunes. US fans, Frank says the EP is available via Island Tunes. He promises a new single in January to launch the album. Until then, you have this and a zillion free MP3s scattered all over the interwebs...

Frankmusik 3 Little Words:

thanks to BradleyMuu for the hookup


John said...

I am about to check it out. Thanks for keeping us in the loop on the U.S. details!

Pedram M. said...

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I will be happy if we could share links: