Monday, April 05, 2010

Loren Francis - I've Been Down Before (2010)

Guitarist and singer-songwriter Loren Francis is a Maine native currently residing in Boston. Francis has buskered down the entire East coast of the United States, on Greek islands, in the catacombs of Jerusalem, on the beaches of the Virgin Islands, and all over Central America. Even though he has written tons of songs in those locales I've Been Down Before is his first CD release.

Francis describes the music on his four song EP as urban Americana. While his arrangements may fall on the softer side of rock they still offer plenty of energy and passion. The very radio friendly title song opens with just a solo piano and voice, gradually building in intensity while morphing into a full blown rock anthem. "If It Was Up To Me" and "Lot Left To Learn" are nearly as effective.  During the disc's best moments his vocals remind the listener of an American Ray Davies.

The New Englander writes very personal songs and he takes complete advantage of his natural gift for strong, emotional wordplay. He proves this with very curious but thoughtful lines like, "You can't make love and have it too," from "It's Over," the disc's opening track.

These four songs make me want to hear the hundreds of others Francis has written. You can listen to all of the tracks from the EP and more on his MySpace page.

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