These 31 digitally remastered tracks across two CDs span Franks’ three-decade career, with something from every one of his Warner Bros. releases plus his Windham Hill album Barefoot on the Beach, performances with the Australian sextet Crossfire and the Yellowjackets, and studio tracks with Joe Sample and Brenda Russell.
Early cuts show Franks as a fusion troubadour, mixing Japanese and Ahmad Jamal influences into zen-pop cool and soft that flowed with more than clever wordplay. “Eggplant” and “Popsicle Toes,” for example, demonstrate the absolute best uses of the words “mayonnaise” and “Tierra del Fuego” that pop music ever ...read more
Michael Franks'Barefoot on the Beachbreaks little new ground - it's another batch of slinky, laidback yet hooky pop-jazz confections with Franks' trademark clever, playful lyrics. (I swear Franks must hold the world record for number of metaphors and euphemisms for lovemaking.) But this is a particularly enjoyable batch - the sunny tunes are particularly bright, the love songs are especially romantic, and the heartbreak songs have a bit more angst. Of course, Franks always helps his own cause by hiring the best of help, this time including producers Chuck Loeb and Jimmy Haslip, and musicians Michael and Randy ...read more