Sunday, August 27, 2006

Frank - Devil's Got Your Gold

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So here is Frank, stars of the risible (but more popular than the OC) Totally Frank TV show. They play their own instruments, write their own songs (if you ignore the plethora of co-writers lending a hand) and despite being helmed by Xenonmania, they're a "proper" group. So far so McFly.

Except lead single, I'm Not Shy, scraped into the public consciousness at number 40 in the charts, and the album has struggled to sell even a thousand copies in the UK, peaking at the dizzy heights of 110 in the Album charts.

So have the public finally seen through the blatant marketing tricks of the music industry? Maybe, but if that's the reason for the poor sales then it's truly a shame. Because whilst this is by no means a classic pop album this album certainly has it's moments, and is an enjoyable listen.

Frank are at their "worst" when palming us off with the kind of tracks that Girls Aloud (or, ok, the "people" behind Girls Aloud) wouldn't touch as B-sides, never mind album tracks.

But there are moments of rare quality which show that with a little more quality control this could have been quite special indeed. Money In Your Pocket may have trite lyrics about how the girls have waited all their lives to be a part of "Frank" but its a punky pop tune that immediately sinks in your brain. Even better is the title track (of a fashion) If The Devil's Got Your Gold. If the 411 had done something as good as that, well they might not have ended up in the girl-group dumper in the sky. It's cool, smooth and silky and well worth a listen. Wake Up is another great track. In fact it's almost good enough to be a Girls Aloud single; and it's definately good enough to be a Sugababes single.

Unfortunately there's too little like this on the album. Whilst a lot of it is perfectly pleasant, there's little individuality on show (which is even more of a crime when one considers they've had two TV series to forge personalities) and too much descends into generic 21st Century pop.

Ironically though there is enough on show here to suggest that with a little push in the right direction, Frank could be something special. Sadly, the complete lack of success of this album is likely to preclude them getting a second stab at it.

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