Album reviews: Healy album sounds like singles

By Abby Wiseman [coordinating editor]

Courtesy of Audrey_Harrod // flickr

Fran Healy
WRECKORDER
(Ryko)

Former Travis frontman Fran Healy’s debut solo album, Wreckorder, is a nice attempt to get away from his radio-friendly roots, but his pop-rock past still haunts this 10-track disc.

The album, which comes out on October 5 from Ryko records, swings from indie pop, folk and radio-rock, making you wonder whether this is a true record or a collection of singles.

The album’s opening ballad “In the Morning” sets the tone for an epic album with layered violins, frantic rhythms and choral backup vocals. The follow-up track, “Anytime”, continues the violins flowing into beautiful melodies and Chris Isaak a la “Wicked Game” vocals–easily one of the better songs on the album.

“Sing Me to Sleep” features female vocalist Neko Case, who pairs perfectly with Healy’s wistful voice, creating a song that can only be described as lovely. The middle of the album sags a little with more radio-rock songs like “Holiday” and the cliche-ridden “Fly in the Ointment”. It also hits some melancholy notes with “As it Comes” and “Rocking Chair”.

All in all the record is a solid effort with some nice folk undertones and soothing vocals. It pairs perfectly with the falls cold and rainy mornings.

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