Denice Franke

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Comfort Review

by William Ruhlmann

Denice Franke's second album is a low-key effort full of moody songs that reflect on the ups and downs of love in allusive terms, usually touching on nature imagery. In "Kindred Skin," for example, she explains the difficulties of a long-distance romance by repeating a chorus of "Snow don't fall in Houston, Texas/Hurricanes rarely visit New York." And "Morning Glories" is a virtual weather report in song following the opening verse, in which a lover walks out the door without a word. Franke's songs are taken at deliberate tempos, and she sings in a becalmed alto, resulting in a placid, unhurried recording in which emotion is as much masked by the performance as by the lyrics. The album is of a piece, but it might have benefited from the occasional change of pace.

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