CD Review: Franklin Brothers - Lifeboat To Nowhere

CD Review by Adam Wujtewicz

Vintage pop rock of a polished variety is almost completely extinct.  Carl and Jay Franklin are starting a reserve for this endangered species and the musicians that believe in it.  Lifeboat to Nowhere by the Franklin Brothers is the first record born on this reserve and they are proud to let it out into the wild to show that it can survive on its own merit.

The Franklin Brothers blend big production pop; ala Billy Joel's piano soaked soul, with the rootsy rock n' roll sounds of bands like The Eagles. The songs are clean, crisp and clear and completely inoffensive to the ears.  This is an exercise in song craft and musicianship not of pushing sonic boundaries.

The album starts off with the Whaley nominated "New London Blues".  While it does have elements of the Chicago style it's much cleaner and jumpier than most.  "No Time to Live" is a similar sound, emphasizing the big pops from horns or guitar while the keys jangle the melody and rhythm section moves the song along.  These songs are a testament to just how many sounds you can get in a song without muddying it up.

The album has some slower roots rock/folk ballads like traveling "I’ve been to the Waters" and "Her Ringtone" which bears quite a resemblance to the Beatles classic "Blackbird".  "Lifeboat to Nowhere" ends with a Peanuts-esque jazz jam aptly entitled "State Street Jam", (Carl Franklin’s Pwop! Studios where the album was recorded, is located on State Street in downtown New London).  Let it never be said that The Franklin Brothers wear their influences on their sleeve because if they did their arms would have to be 6 or 7 feet long.This diversity is what makes the album so pop-centric.  It uses a lot of styles while never over committing.  Give them a little bit of everything and always leave them wanting more.

To preview tracks from the CD, or to purchase and download the album, please visit: http://www.franklinbros.com/