Robert Francis And The Night Tide – “Heaven”
Robert Francis has certainly had an interesting musical background, not only is he the son of a classical music producer, but he was given his first guitar at the age of nine by Ry Cooder and was also then taught how to play by John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers! Having released three solo albums, Robert underwent a difficult period in his life. He has now come back, with the added support of a band called The Night Tide, to create his latest release, “Heaven”.
The album has a very gentle intro in the shape of “Something Tells It Not To”, which is a slow piano ballad. “Baby Was The Devil” really kicks the album off proper, with a neat pop rock song. It has to be said, that the sax, that features throughout the song, gives it a real eighties feel, but it is retro and cool. Then “Love Is A Chemical” is another upbeat pop rocker which has a strong melody which will really capture the listener.
The title track, “Heaven” is a slow melancholic song, it still keeps a singer/songwriter feel but also has a hint of soul. The guitar line and delivery also adds an almost country feel to it. Similarly, “Waisted On You” certainly opens with a guitar on a country porch type of sound. Given its title, it will come as no surprise that “Blue” is one of the slower and more melancholic tracks on the album. In total contrast, “See You Around” is a really great, up beat, mature, power pop song which will bring a smile to the listener’s face.
“Pain” sees Robert combine both main styles of the album, really well. Essentially it’s a singer/songwriter type track but it has a fuller, more power pop energy to it. Maybe it’s just the reference to water, but “Take You To The Water” really recalls Jack Johnson. It also has a lot to do with the general laid back and cool feel to the tune.”I’ve Been Meaning To Call” has a similar feel with the intricate guitar opening but it is actually a very sparse and raw song. Final track, “Hotter Than Our Souls” is the total opposite, as it has a really lush and full sound. It is still absorbing but with a dreamy quality.
This is an album of quality songs which really ebbs and flow, carrying the listener along like a slow boat ride. Importantly, however, it is one with some rays of sunshine which will brighten up your day. The use of a band name probably shows how Robert Francis is purposely expanding his sound, and it really works. Anyone who is a fan of mature pop, by acts such as the likes of Brendan Benson, Jack Johnson or Matt Costa would certainly find plenty to like about this album.