It's easy to raise expectations too high after reading all of the nice things critics have written about Michael Fracasso. On his fifth album, A Pocketful of Rain, the singer/songwriter, rock & roller, and pop tunesmith offers up a dozen songs in his clear, emotive tenor. He's joined by an impressive guest list including vocalists Patty Griffin and Eliza Gilkyson, and a revolving group of supporting musicians including bassist George Reiff and drummer Rob Sanchez. One of the strongest cuts is the opener, "All or Nothing," a spare lament beautifully sung against the backdrop of acoustic guitar and a steady bass. Griffin's harmony here and elsewhere adds another layer to the mix, intertwining with Fracasso to create a moving blend of voices that perfectly underlines the emotion of the song. Other strong cuts include "Devil's Deal," with Griffin providing a bluesy undercurrent to Fracasso's high lead, and the title cut, a catchy bit of pop. The only small complaint is that the album notes and lyrics are difficult to read on A Pocketful of Rain, which, since singer/songwriter lyrics are important, is a bit irritating. But Fracasso gets the musical portion of the program right, so all else will be forgiven. Fans and singer/songwriter aficionados will want to pick up a copy.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.