Frankie Rose – Herein Wild (Used)
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On her third album, Herein Wild, Frankie Rose performs a magical synthesis of her first two albums to reveal her most satisfying and accomplished record yet. Her debut, Frankie Rose and the Outs, is a thrilling noise-pop car crash of an album, and Interstellar is a slickly melodic synth pop album. Both were brimming with exquisite pop songs, with Rose's bright and tender vocals leading the way. On Herein Wild, she retains much of the sophistication and texture of Interstellar, but brings back the fuzzy guitars and clattering drums of the first record. It's a nice amalgamation of her sounds and fits the new wave- and goth-inspired songwriting perfectly. The couple of tracks built around string sections and Frankie's multi-tracked vocals provide a nice contrast and show off her burgeoning style as an artist and producer. Indeed, the production is the most impressive aspect of the record on first listen. The way she runs her vocals through just the right amount of Auto-Tune and reverb to get it to soar over the music like a jet with wings made of clouds is perfect, the layering of instruments (including acoustic guitar this time) results in a wonderfully rich sound, and the shifting dynamics from song to song, and within each song, show that a great deal of care went into the record. After being stunned by how great the record sounds, one can be knocked for a loop by the melodic and emotional power of the songs. Almost every track here could stand on its own as a highlight -- the Cure-inspired "Sorrow" or "Street of Dreams," both of which unfold slowly like a long, sad story, the dream-like "Cliffs as High," and the breathtaking "You for Me" that starts the record off with a bang, to name but a few. Really, though, Herein Wild works best as an album. The kind that's perfect for hours of late night/early morning investigation, especially if you're feeling a little moody and lost. The songs, sounds, and Rose's tightly wound but expansive performance all build throughout to culminate in a very powerful experience by the album's end. It's the work of an artist who's not afraid to take chances; not afraid to grow. It's also the work of an artist at the absolute top of her game, and as a result, Herein Wild ranks as one of the best, most inspired and inspiring, albums of 2013.
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