Frankie Rose Interstellar

Frankie RoseInterstellar
Frankie Rose's first solo effort, credited to Frankie Rose & the Outs, did little to distance the one-time Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts beat-keeper from her former gigs. Despite some nice '60s girl group flourishes, the album generally felt like one of many lo-fi indie pop records flooding the blogosphere. Second time out, Rose abandons the sparse reverb of the '60s for an overindulgence in the synths and pounding drums of the '80s, which wouldn't sound out of place on an M83 record. Surprisingly, this sonic change-up feels like a more genuine presentation of Rose; despite some heavy layering, she sounds more confident with her vocals front and centre. The record's first half is a feast of pop riches, even though "Know Me" borrows liberally from the Cure, circa Head on the Door, and "Gospel/Grace" sounds like a lost Pretenders B-Side. But after the beautiful "Pair of Wings," things take a downward turn, with the songs settling for atmosphere over hooks, culminating with the tepid "Apples for the Sun." Though not the punchy, great leap forward it could have been, Rose finally proves that she's far more than just a part of her former groups. (Slumberland)