EP REVIEW: Francis Bowie (EP)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Genre: Ambient Pop, Alternative Rock
Peter Gabriel, Dead or Alive, Nick Cave
Copenhagen Denmark based Francis Bowie is a writer, singer, songwriter, painter, sculptor, designer and gallery owner. He proclaim himself as the. more founder of the new music genre called Intelligent Pop Music or IPM which is an attempt to put some quality, dignity and honor into pop music. This is his third release to date.
The EP kicks things off with “Endlessly” a dynamic intro piece that serves up synthetic rock rhythm, infectious vocal harmonies, and melodic accents with a grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Wasting My Time” shifts gears a bit with a steady flowing bass driven groove, fascinating lyrical content and creative sonic layering. This coupled with impressive keyboard accents and heartfelt vocal delivery makes for a very interesting follow-up statement. Track 3 Sunny Day” serves up more of the same sonic trippiness with hypnotic vibe that flows and ebbs it’s way through to emotional fruition. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts such as Dead or Alive, Nick Cave. Freddie Hart, Peter Gabriel, and even Skeets McDonald. The music itself is an impressive blend of Ambient Pop and melodic Alternative Rock. The writing, playing, and singing abilities for Bowie are impressive, and might add Bowie plays all musical instrumentation on the CD himself. Bowie's voice goes down smooth, and at times reminds me of Curtis Songer (Ministry) and even Pete Burns (Dead or Alive). What I like the most about this EP is its sheer song for song unpredictability and dark presence. You never really know what’s waiting for you around the next corner. I give Bowie high marks on his writing virtuoso and not being afraid of being highly original. Unlike other dark artists out there like Marylyn Manson who try so hard to convince you they belong in a rubber room, Bowie just refuses to put forth the effort. The lyrics seem very straightforward but make no bones about it they are extremely thought provoking and painfully real. It took courage, skill and deep honesty to write this music. There is dark pain and lamentation lingering, but you'll notice bright pockets of hope that shine through as well. There’s also plenty of rich sonic layering woven deep within the fabric of the music. In classic parallel fashion the subject matter of some of these songs is also buried deep within the lyrical content. The EP ends with “Silly and Crazy” the prefect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
There is no barcode on the back of the EP indicating a retail non-compatibility, not typical for Gold Standard releases. Typically I also deduct one star for EP releases. The full length release is a much more complete snapshot to judge an artist.
From start to finish this latest EP from Francis Bowie is an impressive snapshot of music. The music is highly original, unpredictable as hell and pushes the envelope hard. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of Francis Bowie. Bowie possess enough musical talent & songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, with lyrical content is hard to pin down and the music is simple brilliant. Like the aforementioned I really enjoyed the Trippiness and sheer unpredictability of all the songs. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that can show us something real and genuine beneath their veil of vanity. Francis Bowie is one of those artists.