The Frank and Walters

The Frank and Walters

Grand Parade

Setanta/Red Ink

There’s something refreshingly bubbly and clean about the Frank and Walters music. Taking a cue from bands such as the La’s and Echo and the Bunnymen, these Irish lads have a wonderfully rich and layered pop sound that has been hard to find of late.

Incorporating a wide range of string musicians (over seventeen are credited on the album), Grand Parade is the kind of album that completely washes over you. It’s hard to listen to this album in the background without having part of it imbedded in your psyche; the next time you hear it, somehow you know half of the choruses.

One of the most impressive things about the Franks is the fact that their lyrics aren’t just filler for a decent musical hook. Songs about things such as the situation of a changing Russia, the emptiness of a recently widowed woman, the aftermath of breakups, and the need for humans to look for an emotional release don’t make for light lyrical fare. It’s not very often that simply reading a band’s lyrics can produce the kind of emotional response that the Franks’ do.

Equally at home in the land of slower, touching songs (“Little Dolls”) as they are with upbeat pop gems (“Colours,” “Have You Ever”), the Frank and Walters have produced an album that is easily a contender for album of the year. And “Indian Ocean” is one of the best pop songs I’ve heard in years. Setanta/Red Ink, 79 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

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