Review Archive

‘Bridge The Roads’ from Franka De Mille - anthology of imaginative songs

(March 01, 2013)

Franka De Mille’s voice exudes expression. Its essence floods through the stories told in her Bridge the Roadsself-penned songs. Its dramatic quality augments each one. Her album ‘Bridge The Roads’ reflects that talent through its anthology of imaginative songs blended across innovative musical mixtures with influences from acoustic Americana, classical, pop and folk. There’s a theatrical depth that builds through ‘Bridge The Roads’ to create atmospheres that are intimately personal and scrutinised for sharing.

From endearingly hopeful inspiration in ‘Come On’, the simpering strings of ‘Fallen’, through darker corridors with ‘Solo’ to the mournful accordion and sombre lyrics of ‘Gare Du Nord’, the blend and balance impels you into the album’s grip. There’s an eccentricity here that plainly falls outside many definitions of folk but then again there’s an earthy profundity to the music and lyrics that echoes a delve into tradition. As the drama plays out, the themes incline to darker tales - the grief that forged ‘Birds’, the trauma expressed in ‘So Long’ and the deliverance expressed ‘Bridge the Roads’ itself - songs that expose emotional suffering, remembrance, resignation and defiance.

This album opens a door to a secret and captivating place, as it lays out an expanse of enchantment that’s begging to be explored.

Playing on selected tracks on ‘Bridge The Roads’ with Franka are Christian Fontana (acoustic guitar, slide guitar, piano, keyboard, bass, bongos, bodhran) Dorota Gralewska (cello, keyboard, piano) Deborah Gruman (violin) Chris Stone (violin) Steve Morrison (acoustic blues guitar) Paul Tkachenko (accordion, mandolin, oud) Ragnhild Loken (piano, flute) Cyriel Diels (double bass, bass) and Mannie Mazzeo (drums).

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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