This is a review of "Let The Rain Fall" recorded by Fran Rodgers. The review was written by Chris Woolford in 2006.
Fran Rodgers is making me cold. This room was warm a minute ago, in fact the thermostat says 23°C but my body is freezing because the inconsiderate woman is giving me a serious chill.
I’m never been a fan of folk but Rodger’s haunting voice and delicate guitar are clearly pretty special even to my untrained (well unfolk, if that’s a word?) ears.
The beautiful ‘Morning Prayer’, my personal favourite, opens the EP with a one minute intro of dark melody that feels akin to ‘Street Spirit’. We then move into the three main tracks on this record: ‘Unforgiving’, ‘Season’s Song’ and ‘Ave Maria’.
All three are elegant, lavish and beautiful yet probably about as simple and down to earth as they could be featuring just one voice and one acoustic guitar. As you’ve read before, and you’ll probably read again, Fran has a voice as pure as an angel and a subtle picking ability that would outclass a wealth of acoustic performers in Leeds.
However I could offer a couple of criticisms. Firstly Fran, while clearly immensely talented, isn’t the most innovative acoustic performer. Her music doesn’t really break down any musical boundaries for me. Although I doubt that’s what she set out to do.
One might also say that Fran has missed her boat, folk not being the popular genre it once was 40 years ago. However this could also be her charm – a performer brave enough to tackle, indeed sing from the soul, a style of song perhaps considered ‘un-cool’ amidst the surge of angular-indie-rock-emo-pop or whatever its latest moniker is.
This certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Folk music of any kind can be hard to digest to the uninitiated. However I’d certainly recommend it. After all it’s been a pretty warm winter and sometimes it’s comforting to experience a tingling shiver down the back of your spine.