j franke - band of broken dreams
Turn down the lights, put on a pair of nice headphones, grab a snack and a beverage, and toss on Band Of Broken Dreams By J Franke Band. The cover art is a stunning indication of what to expect from the album; simple and straightforward, the barebones drawing of musical instruments left abandoned and on their stands gives an impression of a dream forgotten.
Each song on the album has wonderfully well thought out guitar riffs and melodies working in cooperation with some of the most honest vocals I’ve ever heard. Eschewing auto-tune and fancy tactics, these were obviously meant to come straight from the heart to narrate a story. The lyrics in “Band of Broken Dreams” grab your attention immediately, and the supporting guitar work makes your head bob. This is an encompassing title song, and a great way to start the album. “Dylan Song” opens with a beautiful guitar riff, supported by simple drumming and bass that evens the higher parts of the song out.
A few of the songs are jam packed with energy and optimism. “If Only We Were Young” should be every young adult’s theme song. Later in the album, “Paradise City Song” appears with an exotic melody played with very intricate guitar work. This song also features an extremely creative riff, the kind that intertwines itself with your memory and reappears at a later time.
Some of the most heartfelt songs are also contained in the middle of this album. “Willie” wraps a valuable life lesson about facing up to your mistakes in a humorous, catchy, easy to remember chorus. “Just For You” is the love song of the album, and sounds like it was written for a significant other, someone who would hear it and would immediately understand it was just for them.
And then there’s “Man In The Moon”, probably one of the most entrancing songs on the album. It has a sinister, dark sound. I loved how the fast paced chorus does an uneven, tumbling breakdown into the steady tempo of the verse.
This was an enjoyable listen from beginning to end. The genuine, not-quite-perfect vocals offer a sense of humanity and a confidence that made it easy to identify with; the lyrical content was written from the heart, and clearly meant to impart a message to the listener. The guitar playing is crisp and the melodies were both complex and intriguing, and more than a few riffs have true staying power. If you’re looking for an artfully crafted story steeped in the realms of human nature and carried by refreshing melodies, look no further.
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