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Jenn Franklin, Errors & Omissions (EP)
Jenn Franklin's assured debut is getting a fresh release this Fall. There's a savage honesty in her piano-driven songs and poetic lyrics ("Broken compass, we just never knew/When north became south became lost") that make them stand out despite the straightforward pop-rock forms in which she and producer Peter Overton work. The disc feels more like a a brief, pointed album than an EP. Its six songs stretch for 26 minutes, after all - longer than a typical LP when the Pretty Things were starting out!
Although Franklin is a piano player and a good one, her sound is more Evanescence than Vanessa Carlton, more Alannah Myles (especially in "Mercy") than Tori Amos - though "Impasse 900" does bring to mind the latter's hit "Cornflake Girl." Her voice is captured with a slightly distancing effect that reminds me of the way female vocals were recorded in the problematic 80s, but that's a minor quibble.
The opening song, "What Took You So Long," rocks the hardest but, overloaded with crunching guitar tracks, it feels the least honest. "Impasse 900," on the other hand, successfully snaked into my veins. My favorite is the intensely dramatic ballad "Fade," while "No Mercy" and the lovely "Cozumel" are fully juiced with blood and guts.