steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Frankie Machine

"Re-Unmelt My Heart" CD

Artists Against Success

Genres: folk-pop, indie pop, lo-fi

artist website

Jan 10 - 16 2005

Frankie Machine (also known as Francis Albert Machine, whose singles collection I reviewed earlier last year) is a consistently impressive bedroom pop musician.  Re-Unmelt My Heart is his third full-length release, and it marks another successful chapter in Frankie's underground musical legacy.  He seems to be building a small following in the vein of Smog and Guided By Voices, but his folky indie pop brew is more uplifting than the former and less overtly melodic than the latter.

Re-Unmelt My Heart's most noticeable quirk is its use of samples and electronic elements.  The songs here are littered with atmosphere-setting effects (including a neat porn-star loop on "Why Are You #2), adding an interesting dimension to Frankie's distinct, drearily melodic style.  The album-opening title-track is an immediate selection for this record's best song, as it is far more immediately catchy and satisfying than the CD's other tunes - it boasts a wonderful acoustic guitar line and lush, downtrodden vocals.  "Funny Looking Clever" is another charming number, cramming a cute structure and some very sweet lyrics into a one-minute timeframe.  Its charming subject matter will leave a melancholy smile on your face ("All I want is a girl who is as funny and as clever as she is ugly so we'll never get bored and we'll never stop laughing and she won't ever want to leave me.")  "Black Eyes #3" and "Japanese Sigh" also boast wonderful melodies.

Why Frankie Machine doesn't have more attention and praise lavished upon him is beyond me, as his indie pop formula seems pretty universally appealing.  Perhaps too fragile and low-key for the world's more excitable music fans, Re-Unmelt My Heart is the perfect record for lovers of emotional, rewardingly melodic pop music.


Fun Fact: "Funny Looking Clever," this album's seventh song, was created for the 60x60 compilation - a collection of sixty songs, each one exactly 60 seconds long.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]