The John Francis - On The Moments We Share
Yes, THE John Francis. Actually this is one John Francis, whose ambition for this release seems to be high. Essentially a song cycle that varies in tone between Tom Waits and good ringing pop, with lyrics that range from the insightful back down to the first poem a 14 year old wrote and thought was deep. A mixed bag, in other words, and a release that could have used a little more humor, or a little more amp. Francis has a way with a tune, and there are many surprising hooks and changes to be had; he has listen to and absorbed a lot of songbooks. While his lyrics too reflect a lot of listening and, to be fair, observation of his own life and losses, there is an air of the majestic that undermines the songs. A good straight on tale of hope or dread works even when it doesn’t make a grand statement. "As To The Spinning Earth" and "On The Moments We Share" are especially clipped by the Big Idea. Much better is "Grace for One," or "Sliding any Way I Can" in which the temptation for the grand is suppressed by the simple need to tell a story.
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