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Franklin, John Orr: Transformation

"If Tom Petty sang for Pink Floyd" - Quote from the electronic press kit

Hmmmm….I hear neither Tom Petty nor Pink Floyd here. What I do hear is a decent guitar player and vocalist attempting to craft songs, with varying degrees of success. Transformation is John Orr Franklin's second full length CD. The best description might be that it's comprised of 11 songs, which by and large, sound like fairly commercially oriented singer/songwriter fare. What does that mean? It means that this disc is a song-based affair, with the average length of each track being around 4:00 minutes long, where the lyrics are featured prominently. The kind of stuff one could hear on more forward-thinking FM radio stations (an oxy-moron, I know).

As stated above, John is both a good singer, and an even better guitar player. This record seems to have a lot of elements that should make it stand out, but somehow it falls a bit short of the mark. There seems to be missing a key element here, what I'd label as "oomph!". The songs, for the most part, are pretty, but a little lackluster. Granted, there aren't any bad songs here, but there are very few really good ones in this reviewer's opinion. The disc hits its high point with "Chrysalis" and " True 2 U", back-to-back, but these are nearly at the end of the disc. "Chrysalis", in particular, is a nifty little instrumental, where John shows a little teeth with some tasty guitar licks. "True 2 U" also shows a little more cojones than most tracks on the disc and features some gritty guitar passages. Other than these two tracks, and maybe the other instrumental number " Flow", this album is unfortunately rather ordinary. There's a homogeny that permeates the remaining tracks which maybe doesn't work as well as it could.

The press kit that came with this release uses the word "Progressive" extensively, yet I'm not really getting much of a "progressive" vibe from this disc. Conversely, although the songs tend to be in the 4 minutes "radio friendly" camp, I don't think Franklin has a cookie-cutter songwriting style or image. So like a well-placed fly ball, this disc may hit the ground in a no-man's land. I really wanted to like this one more, but in the end, I can only give a slightly above average release a slightly above average score.

Track Listing:

  1. For The World To See
  2. Dance Til Three
  3. Kiss The Sky
  4. Disappear (Only One World)
  5. Flow
  6. Transformation
  7. The Dove
  8. Summer
  9. Chrysalis
  10. True 2 U
  11. This Day

Added: March 26th 2009
Reviewer: Yves Dubé
Related Link:
Hits: 1965
Language: english

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