Michael Franks

Love Songs

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It's a wonder an album like this took so very long to compile. If ever there were a singer/songwriter who evoked the true spirit of "love song" collections, it's pop jazzer Michael Franks. His Reprise run that covered nine albums from 1975 through 1995 is fraught with delightful love songs of varying tempos, quirky changes, and an altogether warm, seductive vibe. "Cool" is the word that epitomizes Franks at his sophisticated, elegant best, and if anybody doubted it, any college dorm room from the era would yield a couple of his sides reserved for "those moments." Indeed, Franks has often been dubbed the Tom Robbins of the pop tune. Much of what is here in 16 tracks is inarguable. Meta-fans would find some quibbles, but that's all they would be. This is a well-assembled set that contains tracks from all of his Reprise recordings, from The Art of Tea ("Popsicle Toes"), Sleeping Gypsy ("The Lady Wants to Know"), Burchfield Nines ("Meet Me in the Deerpark"), and on into Passionfruit ("When I Give My Love to You") and Skin Dive ("Now I Know") as well as cuts from One Bad Habit, Tiger in the Rain, Abandoned Garden, and Objects of Desire. The package comes with an excellent liner note essay by A. Scott Galloway. A fine collection by one of the most consistent artists in the past several decades.

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