Fran Healy - Wreckorder

2011-05-04 09:22
 
After a 20 year stint with his band Travis, Scottish-born front man Fran Healy has finally gone it alone, with somewhat surprising results.

Bordering somewhere between the softest of rock and a mishmash of folky undercurrents, this is an album that was engineered to appeal to a VH1 generation.

Seemingly inspired by light, this album displays different degrees of it, both lyrically and melodically and it’ll send you on an emotional rollercoaster – whether you want it to or not.

Healy brings a new set of collaborators on board including Neko Case on "Sing me to sleep" and Tom Hobden from Noah and the Whale on violin on "In the morning". The songs would’ve otherwise fallen flat, but these additional voices make them shine with a degree that none of his more commercially-engineered Travis tunes ever did.



Healy’s higher register on tracks like "Anything" is gorgeously soft and this adds an unexpectedly lonely, nostalgic tone to his lyrics that detail star constellations. With its seesaw-like melody, it’s also one of the better ones on here. But Healy’s lyrical crowing moment when he rhymes “everywhere” with “Fred Astaire.” It’s just too cute.

It seems Mr Healy also has a disturbing sense of humour, collaborating with Sir Paul McCartney on "As it comes" – a ballad which details a love that decays because of old age.

But after all this, it’s the jazzy "Moonshine" that stands head and shoulders above the rest as the shortest song that packs the biggest punch, thanks to the sexy undercurrent of a rumbling double bass throughout.

For an album that runs for a total of just over 34 minutes, it’s worth adjusting your iTunes repeat settings for.


Bordering somewhere between the softest of rock and a mishmash of folky undercurrents, this is an album that was engineered to appeal to a VH1 generation.
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