Pete Francis has amassed an impressive solo catalog with a decidedly pop streak
during the run and since the demise of his much beloved indie band Dispatch.
For his fifth album in seven years Francis forsakes his poppier past to weave
colorful swatches of folk, country, blues and rock into a soulful set that
offers the urbane indie rock ethic of Lloyd Cole (“Carnival”), the Brit
folk/pop muscle of Paul Weller (“Carousel”) and the international Americana
swagger of Bernard Fanning (“Armies of Angels”). And when Francis channels his
inner Dylan (which is channeling his inner David Gray), as on “Shooting Star
and the Ambulance,” “Let It Go” and the title track, there is a sense — and
perhaps a hope — that he’s extending his sonic range on Iron Sea and the Cavalry to include this homespun classicism that
he happens to wear quite well.
Standout Tracks: “Carnival,” “Shooting Star and the
Ambulance” BRIAN BAKER