Francis Dunnery

Tall Blonde Helicopter

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In the liner notes of Tall Blonde Helicopter, Francis Dunnery writes that the record was made with a wink and a smile. That mischievous spirit certainly shines through most of the 15 songs that comprise this 1995 release, particularly "Too Much Saturn," a humorous tale of the effects of the new age, and "The Johnny Podell Song," which was titled for his booking agent. Even so, Dunnery does not shun his sentimental side and turns in some real gems ranging stylistically from all-out rockers to acoustic pop. The happily upbeat "Sunshine" is an adoring honey of a song that any sweetheart would be pleased to receive. On the other end of the telescope is the beautiful melancholy of "Only New York Going On," a cry of loneliness and longing from the big city for a love who's elsewhere. Not only does Dunnery write all of the songs, save for the Cat Stevens penned "Father and Son," but he also plays the bulk of the instruments, though Jill Sobule lends her distinctive voice in support of "Rain or Shine," the supposed story of Dunnery's life. Although it's a strong, enjoyable album, Tall Blonde Helicopter never quite finds its groove and, therefore, feels the tiniest bit choppy. Nevertheless, if you like singer/songwriters who float somewhere outside the box, Dunnery should be in your collection.

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