Released on February 1st 2017, by Franki Love, the album title “OTIAS”, is actually the singer-songwriter’s mother’s maiden name spelled backwards. The 10 track album includes 3 songs produced by Grammy award winning David Kershenbaum, 5 songs produced by Jeremy Dawson (Shiny Toy Guns) and 2 songs produced by Franki Love herself. Franki, who was mentored by music producer Phil Ramone, who encouraged her to start writing the album after her mom passed away, described the album as: “It’s my Mom having cancer, then being cancer free then having cancer again . . .then my Mom dying in my arms….my mentor Phil Ramone encouraging me to write at the piano after my Mom passing away……Phil dying….me spending difficult days and nights at the piano…. Writing, writing, writing. . . crying…”
No one familiar with the forceful emotional perspective driving the lyrical content of Franki Love’s album should be surprised by the suggestive tunes that populate the recording. Typical instrumentation and arrangements universally associated with the most elemental of musical genres are smartly layered by the production of each song, who sand some of the heavier layers off.
Though only to bring into focus the propulsive swell over which Franki’s lyrics confront the listener in a seductive growl, plaintive wail, or exquisite roar. Her nuanced, sensitive vocal performance characterizing her creations are transformed alternately into a vehicle through which flows some things sad and some things hopeful.
Listeners will flocked to this recording due to the well-orchestrated, fluidly percussive pull of track s such “Walking Wounded” and “Crazy Night”, while songs like “First Degree” and “Dreams” possess their own level of elegance.
Elsewhere though it’s the tracks that sound possessed and animated by the primal tones of Franki Love’s exploding heart, and sustained piano chords, that ultimately will captivate listeners forever. These defining and distinguishing gems abound throughout the album and include “Notes”, “Truth”, “Hearts”, and “One Light”.
“OTIAS” is moody, morose, and sophisticated, emotionally raw, and thematically consistent. A classically trained pianist, who began playing the instrument at the age of 4, Franki Love’s lyrics are incredibly articulate, fresh and poetic, as the tones and moods swirl and shift ominously on the record.
The intravenous emotion of every song is always ornamented and tempered by her lovely voice or piano. She’s in control, but feels every little thing in her world, when the essence of pain, love, and hope finally stop grinding against each other and meld into one single emotion.
The warm production creates a session-like feel, as if Franki is locked away inside some tapestry-draped hideaway only accessible to outsiders through direct auditory input. “OTIAS” comes across as product of necessity, both creative and physical.
It is appealing; in fact, it’s downright gorgeous in its own bittersweet way, a musical vivisection in which Franki Love’s turns her personal world inside out to examine wounds both gaping and calcified. And mainly to caress and heal them wherever she can.