The underground market in North America has been critically destroying the mainstream by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and it doesn’t take much more than a casual listening session with the new eponymous album from Frank Jurgens to appreciate exactly what I’m talking about. Rather than giving us the rather predictable tones of his mainstream competition’s sound, this indie player is cutting into larger than life harmonies with a more delicate approach than any of his peers seem to know how to keep up with. The maturity he has at the helm of “Under Jacksons Bridge,” “Who is to Blame” and “That Bottle and Me” is worthwhile on its own, and when coupled with the structural inventiveness of the tracklist, there’s no beating what he’s cooking up this autumn.
There are numerous pop sensibilities sewn into the body of this LP, starting of course with the progressive nature behind “Emily,” “Brown Suitcase,” “No Getting Outta Here Alive” and “Just Another One of Lifes Little Things,” but they never produce the sort of plasticity that frequently destroys a pop career before it’s even out of the gate. Frank Jurgens is an old school songwriter – that much is obvious even at a distance – and he knows how to accent a hook with a thoughtful lyric as to not sound predictable but approachable and consistent with his presence. I don’t know if he’s able to bring this same kind of heat to a live performance, but if he can, he’s going to have an amazing following on the road.
DOWNLOAD LINK: https://www.frankjurgens.com/
Jurgens’ smooth lead vocal is easily the most dominant component of any given performance here, but I think that in “Emily,” “Whole Lotta Blue,” “47 Boardwalk Lane” and “Brown Suitcase,” it’s more chills-inducing than most listeners will be prepared for. Better yet, there’s not just a lot of charm in his singing – there’s no ego for us to get around. At no point does it sound like we’re listening to someone immersed in self-righteousness, and while I think this guy knows how amazing of a singer he is, he doesn’t come across as being arrogant in his thread of lusty verses. He’s got a good handle on how to make this music appealing to just about any audience that cares for melodic pop, and that’s one attribute a lot of his rivals would just kill to have.
I can’t wait to see Frank Jurgens perform in person some time, and if it’s anything like what he’s already been doing in the studio, his is an iconic story just now starting to come together. There’s no give-up in his artistry, and I get the idea that he’s only going to get better as he gets more experience and stage time under his belt. This isn’t an era that looks on small-time players very kindly, but luckily for this artist, he’s rolling with the kind of elite talent that most would spend lifetimes trying to cultivate – and it’s coming naturally to him.
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