STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 24251-21784 LABEL: Benson CDO2769 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Jonathan Priday
Don Fransisco is something of an enigma. Ignoring musical trends he doggedly continues to play the 'unrepentant folkie". So the musical differences between Vision Of The Valley' his latest album, and 'The Early Years, a collection of tracks from the period 76 -- '84, are slight. The heart of the sound is still acoustic guitar and country tinged vocals. The emphasis is firmly on the lyric, especially the story songs that are his trademark. So "Gotta Tell Somebody" (Jairus' Daughter), "Voyage To Gennesafet" (walking on the water), "The Traveller/Joy" (road to Emmanus) from the early repertoire give way to "Vision Of The Valley" (the birth of Christ) and "Everything Is Possible" (the man with the demon possessed son) -- each one recounted with a finely tuned insight into the human condition. The most obvious difference comes in the tone of the newer songs. Where the earlier tracks reflect the concerns of a recent convert the newer material tackles the problems inherent in Church life ~ bad leadership ("Foolish Shepherd"), the way some get rich at the expense of others ("Righteous Disgrace") and the tendency to think everything's O.K. as long as we put on a show ("The Proof"). Whether you're a Fransisco fan or whether, like me, you've overlooked his output to date these two albums form a balanced introduction to the output of a man whose songs have touched many.
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