Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Seven minutes for our lives while my coffee's gettin' cold

Since I was awaiting the video for one Xenomania creation earlier today, let's spend a moment talking about one of the less famous songs from their back catalogue: Frank's "Mr Beautiful." I know not everyone clicked with the TV tie in girl group (their complete lack of commercial success was proof of that, if nothing else), but "Mr Beautiful," the b-side to the group's 2006 debut single "I'm Not Shy," is Xenomania doing mid-tempo heartbreak at their best. The songwriting and production team's everything and the kitchen sink approach and disregard for pop song structures might not be on show here, but the song is still evidence of their ability to create musical magic. A strummy guitar part and a simple repeated beat with a half-bounce to it that could have come straight out of the late '90s Cheiron studio run into melancholic ripples every time the song enters the chorus, with those ripples being swapped out in the verses for backing vocals that achieve a different kind of poignancy; to the casual listener, it's a sonically simple creation, albeit one that avoids acoustic stylings, but "Singapore"'s more jaded and consequently more listless sister tugs at your emotions more than its air of resignation would lead you to expect.

To buy Frank's single "I'm Not Shy," which has "Mr Beautiful" as the b-side, go here (physical).

Next up: maybe something else from a British girl group.

4 comments:

Bas said...

Frank were really cool! I'm still in love with their album. It's got so many good songs on it. Think it is really underappreciated. Such a shame they didnt make it. Couldn't be because of I'm Not Shy... great track :)

Robpop said...

I absolutely adore Frank. Not a great name for a girlband..........but still, I'm Not Shy is a great song.

If I'm absolutely honest though I prefer the original by Mania.
Only because I used to sing that version to myself while waiting for the bus to take me to university (back in my old undergraduate days-aaaaahh the good ole dayz!).

Poster Girl said...

Bobby, the Mania and Moonbaby projects gave us some good songs. I'm a big fan of Moonbaby's "Kitsch Bitch Cool."

Bas and Bobby, time has been good to the album, I think. The half-ballads/mid-tempos from the group include some not-to-be-missed Xenomania work.

D'luv said...

I'd forgotten about Frank! RobPop, I think you'd been raving about them when they were out, no?