It’s too easy to say that FrankySelector’s multi-cultural upbringing in Florida “explains” his musical identity. It is one of the external forces shaping him into the human being and artist we hear from today but, ultimately, the underlying foundation is built on more fundamental ground. It is woven into his DNA, as inevitable as blue eyes or a particular hair color and flows from him as naturally as breathing. His latest single “Ice Breaker” from the album Never Better never strains for its effects. Listeners are in confident hands from the outset and its physicality never overwhelms but, nonetheless, crackles with energy.
The gale of laughter opening the song previews its mood. FrankySelector’s body of work strikes a positive note in the contemporary musical scene. It has an instant redemptive vibe and its initial tempo sets a brisk pace without sounding cluttered thanks to its airy production. Each instrumentation has a satisfying degree of separation in the mix. The percussion is straight-forward and has a spot-on swing prodding you to move from its first beats. Sunlight streams through each note of the introduction and promises more to come.
First time listeners to his music will notice on a first listen how he takes his time introducing vocals. It’s an idiosyncratic move, not unheard of, and builds anticipation. It certainly isn’t because it’s a weakness. The variety of voices we hear during “Ice Breaker” are vibrant, brimming with life, and possessing the needed soulfulness. FrankySelector’s production, once again, seamlessly integrates the singing into the arrangement.
The track clocks in at just under four minutes. It’s an ideal length and listeners will be hard pressed to spot even a single instance where FrankySelector places a wrong step. You don’t have to admire or like music such as this, with its mix of R&B with jazzy inflections and undeniable Latin flavor as well, but you cannot deny the skill fueling it. He has surrounded himself with first class ensemble of collaborators more than up to the task of fleshing out his musical vision.
Its merits often lie in its details. Many will enjoy the near-cinematic quality of the “dialogue” during the song’s second half and the assorted flourishes added for color are fun without ever feeling over-played. FrankySelector, despite his relative inexperience working as a solo performer, serves up a single that’s as seasoned and complete as anyone else working today. Substantive and entertaining listening experiences are as rare as red hair in times such as this.
Music such as this is welcome medicine these days. FrankySelector’s art doesn’t remake the songwriting wheel but it unites instead of divides, it doesn’t bemoan anyone’s fate, and opens its figurative arms to anyone interested. It boasts professional polish from its first through final note and its sincerity is beyond dispute. FrankySelector’s rise in the independent music scene will accelerate thanks to this outstanding new single. If the remainder of Never Better is as good, listeners are in for quite a treat and he’ll solidify his claim on being one of the most diverse musicians and performers working in pop music today.
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