Frankisoul on Fire!

It got me reminiscing, the EP helping through washing-up the roast dinner plates this Sunday, Trowbridge-based Frankisoul’s newly released debut, On Fire. Ruminating my student days in the late eighties, whereby it was expected of us to take in the contemporary bleeps of acid house, blasting from a VW Beetle speaker while crowds nodded their bobbed haircuts and pointed fingers in time with the electronic clamour. When secretly, alone I, hopeless romantic, still listened to the likes of Luther Vandross and Alexander O’Neal….

I wouldn’t admit it at the time, such was the affectation of teenage “cool,” to resist the grain would induce banter of the highest order, for it was mush, mush I happened to like! But if our local music scene is awash with rock, rock is a chameleon, forever warping into subgenres, often tiresomely to keep mainstream. Soul though, is a leopard, it never changes its spots. It works on the basis if it isn’t broke, thus will forever remain mainstream without the need for concern.

Sure, through time soul has progressed, and looking back it had moments which by today’s standard look timeworn, but the basic template hasn’t changed since the days of Motown and Stax, since the days of Little Stevie Wonder and Aretha. But damn, if I thought this was going to be “okay,” I never imagined I’d be comparing Frankisoul to the likes of such legends.

To begin with the title-track opener is upbeat pop, and you get immediate shards of Bruno Marrs or Pharrell Williams. How Happy works so well in the Despicable Me sequel, how you can’t prevent your feet from tapping even if you wanted to, well, On Fire is equal to the sum. If the first notion you get is, “this a local guy, not up there winning a MOBO?” by the EP’s conclusion you’ll be wanting a full inquiry into why not.

What follows is five tracks of concentrated soul of the quixotic-romantic, and your Bruno or Pharrell comparison develops into the proposition if those two could be more like George Benson, what might come out the other end is not far off Frankisoul. I’m not bluffing here, man, it’s sublime and of a quality to follow the soul train to the buffet cart of achievement. Frankie has spent a great deal of time and attention on this, and it shows.

For the third tune has the backbeat of modern RnB, with a sparser dancehall offbeat than the likes of nineties, Mary J Blige et al. Whereas Natalie, the following tune is sensual and smooth, perhaps the most evoking. But we’re not over yet, Little Too Late is single quality material, a ballad arguably the most timeless on the release, the strength of Frank’s vocals is felt here, and it’s mind-blowingly beautiful.

I’m going to throw it out there, I’d like to hear this guy belting out an Otis Redding, the true test for a soul singer, and feel he would pass with distinction. The finale proves this point more than any, simply titled I Love You So, it wraps up this sensually poignant EP perfectly, and with subtle guitar solo, it heralds my point about the basic template of soul not being broken, so no need to fix it.

You should not delay, do it today, this is Sunday music, take a listen and decide for yourself. My preconception it might be “alright” was turned on its head, Frankisoul deserves recognition for his naturally flawless voice, which just eases you in soulful bliss; top job!

For a Link-Tree to listening platforms see HERE

Fire Frankisoul a Facebook Like HERE!


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