Frankie Cosmos: Vessel (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Frankie Cosmos


Sub Pop

Mar 28, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Greta Kline’s musical persona Frankie Cosmos represents the friend you go to for comfort and reassurance; you know she empathizes with all of your highs and lows and has this way of drawing from them the basic existential observations that make you smile and exhale. The unassuming tunes that cradle this quality, performed by her and her band of the same name, reinforce that essence.

On Vessel, the third studio album from Frankie Cosmos and the first that sounds like it took full advantage of the resources therein, the bare DIY charm of Zentropy and Next Thing has remained intact while the structure of its delivery has taken a step in elaboration. Essential guitar and drum patterns have always served to accompany Kline’s stories in a supporting role. With the help of bassist/vocalist David Maine, drummer Luke Pyenson, and new addition, keyboardist/vocalist Lauren Martinwhose sprinkles of keyboard provide dimensionthe music has filled out the foreground. Tempo and chord changes occur frequently and briefly, preventing mind wandering.

The expansion of songwriting and arrangement is moderate, so it’s not like you’re listening to anything drastically new and it balances with Kline’s voice, which sounds more pristine than ever. It’s as if she has never inhaled smoke, smog, or anything that has compromised her innocence, and while her lyrical content proves otherwise, it places a positive spin on heartache, thus keeping the tenor of material light and approachable. You know it’s a Frankie Cosmos song when Kline’s only lyrics on the minute long “As Often as I Can” are “I Love you so/I let you know as often as I can.”

Kline is a fountain when it comes to writing songs and though her prolificacy has been stymied from the tour grind, that nature is irrepressible. At a first glance, the 18-track count makes you think of the artists that are bad at editing out the excess but all of them are in the standard Frankie Cosmos one- to three-minute range. Vessel reveals progress and maturity for Kline and her pals but still houses tiny parcels of vulnerable inner thoughts, the types of things you would be nervous to confess, found in love letters slipped into a desk. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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