Frankie Rose // Herein Wild
Recommended Track: Street of Dreams
Ok, first let’s get this out of the way: Frankie Rose is beautiful. To clairify, this isn’t me judging an artist based on her looks. If that were the case I’d give that derivative failure of a Bleached album a 4/5 based on Jennifer Clavin’s ass alone. Besides, I can barely even look at pictures of Frankie Rose. It’s unnerving as shit. Like staring directly into the eyes of Bjork during an eclipse. Such a pretty mug also possessing a voice like a Siren’s song is some face-of-God, bearing-witness-to-the-mysteries-of-creation kind of shit.
The first time I read The Odyssey, I remember thinking how intrinsically retarded the mythos of Homer’s singing ratchets seemed to me. I mean, isn’t that the kind of thing that only needs to happen once, so that the story gets out and then it, like, never happens again? From then on out it’s like “Uh, Captain, I hear Siren song!” and the captain goes: “Well, word, dude. Ignore those bitches.”
However, Frankie has a voice that isn’t so easy to ignore. Her voice rules that half-dimension between bliss and sadness, longing and release, where sober reality teases aching dream-state. Getting mind-fucked into a shipwreck is the least of your worries. Drift too deep and you could find yourself in a sea of cosmic foam, getting sucked into whatever is at the center of the Bermuda Triangle. And you would be lost in the whimsy if it weren’t for the basic elements of pop and governing laws of melody keeping you grounded to reality just enough to actually appreciate the beauty.
Whereas Frankie’s last album, the black-lit Interstellar (under-appricated pop gem that it was), twinkles and sparkles and shines and comes off as a two dimensional butterscotch-sweet portrait, Herein Wild is more like a dark molasses being over and through your ghost-body, ending up in pools of shadows at your feet. The arrangements are to blame: the strings, the keys, the use of space and guitar tone. The worlds that were only hinted at on the last offering are given full three-dimensional articulation here.
The album opens with supernovas going off in “You for Me”. It’s a left-field kind of opener but it works in context of the rattling and driving “Heaven”. “Into Blue” glows and spins around it’s own beat. You can actually burrow into songs like the contemplative “Cliffs As High” and “The Depths”. Some songs (“Sorrow” & “Question Reason”) kinda come off as a re-visit of older works, but I’ll let that slide because that’s kinda what I showed up to the party for. Needless to say, the more Frankie experiments and gets the weird the better.
This is exemplified in the crown jewel “Street of Dreams”. If Herein Wild was a musical, this would be the scene where the protagonist eats an LSD ice cream sundae covered in shroom dust, naps, then wakes up in the middle of a monochromatic afterscape.
“Wha? Who? The fuck? Where am I?” he exclaims. Then out comes 8 mirror-sisters (sisters made out of mirrors), hair like crystal with black suns for eyes singing. this. fucking. song.
His reaction: First fear. Then: “Awwwwww, shit. This is my JAMMY-JAM.”
I mean, he’s probably like, stuck there forever now, but it’s like whatever.
That’s the charm of the record. For all the “psychedelic” stuff floating around, I think there’s something equally trippy about someone remaining on key, with layers properly pitched and pleasing. Every moving part hitting where it is supposed to in the name of maximum cinematic effect while still playing up their strengths.
I forgot, what is that even called? Oh yeah: Talent.