Frankie Rose – Interstellar

Album Review by S. J. Purcell | 19 Mar 2012
Album title: Interstellar
Artist: Frankie Rose
Label: Memphis Industries
Release date: 19 March

Gone are ‘the Outs’ and the playfully fuzzy textures of Frankie Rose’s debut album; little is left to signify her involvement with Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, or Crystal Stilts. And this appears to be precisely the point. Every track on Interstellar aims for some unspoken celestial high.

When Rose gets it right, the results are breathtaking: the insistent electronic drums and cooed vocals of Know Me; the chiming guitars and surf-pop harmonies of Gospel/Grace;  the eighties gothic melodrama of Night Swim; the gruff cello and reverb-laden multi-tracked vocals of The Fall.

But when she gets it wrong, the tracks are one-dimensional and lapse into clichéd teen angst: the leaden-paced Pair of Wings (“show me your scars/I’ll show you mine”); the repetitive, prosaic Had We Had It. With Interstellar, the reinvented Rose aims high. For the most part, she succeeds, delivering a striking eighties-influenced album of pop melodrama, like a soundtrack to a John Hughes film populated with characters from an S.E Hinton novel; this is something of a time capsule.

Playing Captain's Rest, Glasgow on 23 July