While Francine's debut full-length is a stylistic departure for singer/songwriter Clayton Scoble since his days with Poundcake, on Forty on a Fall Day his unmistakable voice and unique melodies have not changed greatly. The difference here, rather, is entirely within the band as a whole unit. Whereas Pouncake's Aloha Via Satellite is primarily fuzzy guitar pop, Francine are just as comfortable settling into a mellow groove (as on "Quasars" with its roomy drums and tremolo Fender Rhodes) as they are with the power pop of a song like "Trampoline." Frequently, Francine mix the two -- "Pop Warner" starts off with a loungy bass and drum pattern that carries the verse until the chorus, which bursts with heavy guitar and some very catchy harmonies. What really makes Forty on a Fall Day stand out is its marriage of those brilliant original melodies with clever lyrics. "Pop Warner" turns out to be a story wherein the narrator takes Kim Deal to a football game while discussing his favorite songs from her Amps' Pacer album. "Jet to Norway" outlines the life of a would-be filmmaker with a great vocal/guitar hook, and somehow incorporates the improbable line "Maybe you're trying to get rock from the blood of Johnny Tesh."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Janovitz