Thursday, May 1, 2014

CD Reviews: Franck and Yankee

Note: These reviews originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.

Also, on yesterdays post, I mentioned that members of the local bands The Hushdrops and The Chamber Strings will be performing under the name Candy Store Prophets at the Celebrate The Songs Of Boyce And Hart show at the Logan Theatre Lounge at 6:15 PM tonight, May 1st. I’ve since been informed that singer-guitarist Phil Angotti will also be part of the new-version Candy Store Prophets. (The name was originally used by Boyce and Hart’s backup band in the 1960s.) Celebrate The Songs Of Boyce And Hart is part of CIMMfest No. 6, and will be followed by a showing of Rachel Lichtman’s documentary Boyce And Hart: The Guys Who Wrote Em at 6:45 PM in the Logan Theatre.

Now, on to the reviews.

Singer-songwriter Jenny Franck unleashes a lot of raw emotions about troubled relationships on her full-length debut, Beautiful Lies. Working with bassist Mike Orr, drummer-guitarist-keyboards player Jaben Perrell, and a few guest musicians, she’s at her most powerful on energetic, melodic songs like “I See You” and “Colorscreen.” “I look inside myself/I’m full of nothing well,” Franck sings on “Disease,” a guitar-driven song with intriguing tempo shifts. A few of the slower songs have generic arrangements, but Franck’s razor sharp observations keep them interesting.

Yankee is a deceptively nondescript name for a duo that yearns to crack people up with lyrics about condom use and mass murder. Humor is subjective, but there’s no doubt that Josh V. and Caleb P. know how to craft catchy arrangements and airtight harmonies on their self-titled CD. After the throw-away noise of “Hey-Na-Na,” Yankee connects with the rapid-fire rhymes of “Must Be.” “Buddy,” an indie rock lament about a party guest who keeps spilling and dropping things, could be the funniest track, depending on one’s sense of humor.

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