Francis Dunnery, The Gulley Flats Boys

David Pakman

By David Pakman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Post-mid-life crisis album for the sophisticated pop fan.

Full disclosure: I recorded and mixed this album. But I did it because I'm a Francis disciple and this is a fantastic record! Francis tells rich stories, peppers his lyrics with astrological and religious identity struggles and displays truly genius musical moments. He got his start fronting the '80s band It Bites! and has released several other solo records; his earlier albums were slightly poppier, and this record is for a more mature listener. The subject matter is deep: war ("Soldier"), middle age ("Middle of Life"), father[s] and son[s] ("Through My Father's Eyes"), reflecting the hard-earned wisdom of an artist who's weathered a mid-life crisis and come out the better for it. He's somewhat difficult to classify as his work can span multiple genres and styles — his influences include early Genesis, solo Paul McCartney and even Cat Stevens — but Francis touches many listeners and manages to suck you in to each song.