Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Uncle Frank – Fountains

Uncle Frank – Fountains 

Produced by the Uncle Frank Band and mixed by award winning mixer and producer Tim Latham, renowned for his work with A Tribe Called Quest and The Rolling Stones among others, the first single from Uncle Frank’s second album has hit and promises to build enormous anticipation for its upcoming release. “Fountains” is a clear evolution for the band over the fantastic songs on their 2015 debut Maximum Respect. This is a band who clearly knows that the best dance pop is constructed around solid grooves and it will be difficult for any listener, even those not fond of this genre, to not find themselves physically inspired by this song. There isn’t one wasted note in the entire track. Instead, the song comes out swinging and romping and Frank Benbini, the band’s namesake, commands attention with his stylish and musically attuned vocals.  

It is far more than just some vacant dance pop number about having a good time. This song has a definite message that the lyrics clearly express and will strike some listeners as more akin to singer/songwriter oriented material. The music might have persistent intensity from beginning to end, but the lyric has an uniquely optimistic turn despite the fact that the singer clearly regards himself as someone facing obstacles in life. The opening line refers to the world as a madhouse, but the remainder of the song poses all sorts of ways how the listener and singer alike might escape that pressure. The great themes of transcendence and redemption have always been a big part of what makes some of the best pop music work and, in the hands of these superior musicians and songwriters, “Fountains” is sure to become one of the more memorable entries in recent memory touching on those concerns.  

Benbini’s time as part of the band Fun Lovin’ Criminals means he is an experienced singer with tremendous technique and personality that adds a lot to the band’s material. He never pushes the envelope too hard and, instead, relies on a tasteful approach that still swings every bit as much as the massive rhythm section grooving behind him. The song runs just over two and half minutes long but it plays like a complete experience and Benbini takes control of the allotted sonic space in a way few performers working in this mode are capable of. His collaborators, including producer/guitarist Naim Cortazzi, bassist Luke Bryan, drummer Junior Benbini, and keyboardist Jay Lynz are a huge part of why this song so completely succeeds, but its chances of reaching the desired audience ultimately rests on Frank’s broad shoulders. He’s quite up to the task. “Fountains” is an extraordinarily, multi-faceted offering from a band capable of endless invention and they will likely continue on this upwards trajectory for some time to come. Get ready world because, for fans of this type of pop, 2017 will get off to quite a memorable start thanks to Uncle Frank and his cohorts.  

Lance Wright

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