Reviewed by Eugenia Vela.
Pete Francis isn’t a new artist. We’ve heard of the New Yorker singer/songwriter for years, and he always manages to release songs that people simply fall in love with. His newest album, The Movie We Are In still portrays the sweet Francis we know, with love stories and images of small-town happenings, a “stadium of stars” and “gymnasium of the dark.”
From the opening of the very first track, “Glue,” there’s a kind of myriad of atmospheric beats that enwrap a listener—it’s cozy, it hugs you. I don’t know how else to put it. Francis’ voice, accompanied by a new style that’s a bit more electric and modern, is a voice of a storyteller with a cartoonish air of wisdom. And it’s funny because after realizing that, I looked up his single and first video off this album, “Love Shakes You Down” and it’s exactly that—a story told through cartoons and a lovely innocence that fits his purpose perfectly.
Francis’ The Movie We Are In is a collection that reminds us there’s an inevitable collaboration between music and art, music and film, music and photography, music and words. Although unremarkable in creativity, the album is memorable and lovable, and left up to interpretation. And mine is this: There’s a reason why, in spite of the numerous hip hop artists and pop/electro superstar-fashionistas that fill the industry and our worlds, we keep turning to the talented singer/songwriters. We want to be able to understand our music, or be puzzled by it, or have a story to listen to or be lost in. The Movie We Are In is comforting and beautiful in its simplicity.
There’s enough of a range between songs so that we are introduced to a more upbeat aspect of Francis’ style, such as in “Yellow Bird”—and there’s the more acoustic, classic wonder of music like in the opening riffs of “St. Paul’s Fair” (which also happens to be my favorite). It’s a rewarding collection that will leave Pete Francis fans extremely pleased, an album to be heard in cars with open windows on a perfect summer day.
Red River rating: 7.0 out of 10