Who Should Buy This: People who can appreciate a quiet strength, singer/songwriter fans, those in tune with their emotions, and people who love strong harmonies.
Album: Things I’ve Never Said
Genre: indie, pop, singer/songwriter
Music Rating: 9/10
Lyrics Rating: 8/10
Sounds Like: Birdy, Ruth B, Sara Bareilles
Best thing About this Album: I truly believe that the strength of this album is Frances herself. It’s all very vocal-centric, and the character of her voice lends a lot to the songs, which already have very strong writing.
One thing I wish was different: The album opens on a quiet moment of power, which is endlessly effective, but I wish it was just a tad bit quicker to flow into the full spectrum of sound. It tests your emotional commitment, which is probably a good thing (and very brave), but I personally would’ve liked to get to the harmonic body of work a bit sooner.
My Favorites: Love Me Again, Under Our Feet
This is a playlist of all of the songs from the album that will automatically play through the whole album. To skip to a particular song, click on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner.
This album is a wonderful example of the importance of characterization and negative space in music. The simplicity of an unassuming piano shows beautiful restraint and bravery that allows room for the quiet strength of the vocals to really shine through as the centerpiece to each of these songs, with the rest of the accompaniment layering and painting a beautiful background in the peripheries of our audible frame (with the exception of “No Matter”, which happens to be my least favorite song on the album, though it does show a lot of diversity).
It’s hard to believe that this is a debut album, when the writing is so clearly mature, intelligent, and beautifully bridled. We certainly have much more to look forward to from Frances. Here are some of my favorite lines from each track to give you a better sample of the whole album lyrically. Look at it. Listen to it. Love it.
“If I fall, you’ll fall, and if I rise, we’ll rise together.” — Don’t Worry About Me
“Do you need a little time just to understand your mind?” — Love Me Again
“Just ’cause I’m broke, don’t mean I’m useless.” — Drifting
“If you’re not in love, just pretend it’s enough.” — Cloud 9
“All this glitter and dust flying ’round the words in our mouths can’t stay.” — Let It Out
“No matter where you are, where you’re coming from, put your hand on your heart. Don’t wait.” — No Matter
“If the sky flew under our feet, would you keep it all the same?” — Under Our Feet
“Oh, so you know it all. Then it’s gone.” — Grow
“You run with the sun in your eyes, arms open to whatever you find.” — Say It Again
“If you’re gone, I can’t help you find your way back home.” — Sublime
“You say the last word, ’cause I don’t think I can.” — The Last Word
That’s it. If you loved these songs as much as I did, please consider supporting Frances by purchasing the album from her website or on your favorite digital music store (iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, etc.)
And holler at me in the comments! I’d love to talk to you all about this album.