Frankie Rose

Cage Tropical

Slumberland

Aug 09, 2017 Issue #61 - Grizzly Bear Bookmark and Share


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It should be no surprise that Frankie Rose's fourth solo album, Cage Tropical, is inspired by sci-fi and in particular sleepless nights listening to the late-night paranormal-themed broadcasts of Art Bell, who has a song named after him here. Her breakthrough 2012 sophomore LP Interstellar and her last album, 2013's Herein Wild, hinted at this nocturnal direction on songs like "Apples for the Sun" on the former and a cover of The Damned's "Street of Dreams" on the latter. Heavily influenced by Arthur Russell's '80s work, those albums moved Rose away from the noisy garage-pop she'd previously been known for in her time spent in Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, and Dum Dum Girls and into synth-laden territory. This continues on Cage Tropical, although the influence of late '80s Fleetwood Mac is also prominently heard here. None of the individual songs, save for perhaps "Games to Play" and "Red Museum," both relegated to the second half of the album, are immediately memorable on their own, but even at 10 songs and 36 minutes, this is an album meant to be listened to from start to finish. Aside from some backing vocals on Beverly's 2014 debut album Careers, this is the first music she's recorded since Herein Wild, as a series of personal setbacks in her native Los Angeles made her relocate back to Brooklyn and reunite with the Slumberland label that first established her as a solo artist in the early '10s.

As such, while this doesn't scale the heights of Interstellar, it's still a very good album from a fantastic artist. It's nice to have her back! (www.frankierose.info)

Author rating: 7/10

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