InterstellarAlbum | Frankie Rose By Chris Payne
Frankie Goes To 1981.
In crafting Interstellar, her second LP, Brooklyn-based Frankie Rose scrapped most of her early sessions, fearing the record would sound too much like 2010's girl group-influenced Frankie Rose and the Outs. Although her latest record is far from a personal reinvention, it marks a significant step in blog-approved indie rock's graduation from all things fuzz and reverb. With a number of contemporaries (most notably her former bandmates Dum Dum Girls) embracing a more studio-friendly approach while maintaining most of their cred, a synth-happy single like "Know Me" arrives just in the nick of time. Unfortunately, much of Interstellar fails to match its single's infectiousness (a few too many meandering tracks bog down the first half), though the record regains its stride via cuts like "Night Swim" and "Had We Had It". Frankie uses a great deal of synthesizer to fill space and create mood, but while it's unfair and a bit short-sighted to write this off as her '80s record, the similarities to sensitive '80s Top 40 pop (think Autoamerican-era Blondie or Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere") can't be ignored. Your move, Vivian Girls.