Album – Fake Valentine – David Francis

Posted by admin on February 17th, 2007

I was first approached by David a few months ago. I checked out some of his music and thought his album would be interesting to review. I have to admit, when I first listened to the album, I wasn’t too keen on it. The main reason for this is that the vocals seem to sit rather uncomfortably, almost disconnected from the music. There’s a kind of hollow feel to them. I did however hear quite a few gleams of brilliance and though it best to set the CD aside for a bit and come back to it.

To sum up David’s sound, it’s kind of Paul McCartney meets the Rutles. Yes I said Rutles, the fictional band fronted by Neil Innes, formerly of the Bonzo Dog Band. Many of the songs have that 60’s, almost pastiche sound to them. So what do I mean. Well the title track, with it’s acoustic guitar almost reminds me of The Eagles, Hotel California. “Life Smiled” is very McCartneyesque, but is a great song with a very strong Rutles feel. “Reflections in the mirror of the Life I’m Wearing” opens with guitar that sounds very much like the Kinks “Sunny Afternoon” and I mean almost indentical, but for different words.

OK so you can pretty much see how this album is developing, but don’t let that put you off. Indeed I’m a big fan of this kind of homage to all things 60’s, I’m a huge Rutles fan, but the important thing is that thus music doesn’t take itself too seriously.

A couple of songs on the album have titles that are a little on the pretentious side. Some of the tracks are bit on the lengthy side. One track “Song for a party never held” in particular has both of these traits and probably crosses that self indulgent threshold, having not enough to hold the attention . It’s pretty much a rambling, sprawling, almost Bohemian Rhapsody epic, without too much to redeem it. It is however a small blot on an otherwise fun and interesting album. If “Song for a Party Never Held” starts to dig its own grave, “Message” does an admirable job of filling it in again, allowing the album to continue. So we won’t dwell any more.

Conclusion : An interesting album and a welcome diversion from more mainstream music.

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