John Orr Franklin -
Transformation


(CD 2009, 49:26, Blue Room Digital Music)

The tracks:
  1- For The World To See
  2- Dance Till Three
  3- Kiss The Sky
  4- Disappear (Only One World)
  5- Flow
  6- Transformation
  7- The Dove
  8- Summer
  9- Chrysalis
10- True 2 You
11- This day

John Orr Franklin Website        samples       


This is John Orr Franklin ís second album, I missed his 2007 Pathways album, and so I canít tell you about the differences or progression on this Transformation album.
The first time I listened to the album, I think I was distracted, I heard melodic rock and thought: OK, thatís it. Two days later I wanted to listen and focus on the album and found out my first impression was a very bad one. The songs are accessible and when you listen more often, they have potential.
The album is a mix between light progressive rock, AOR, melodic rock and interesting guitar playing.
John Orr Franklin sings, plays guitar and keyboards on the album, while live the keyboards are played by Christopher Cribb. The other musicians on the album are: Brandon Aly and Rob Palladino on drums and Josh Batschelet and Kris Mathesen on bass.

The album starts with a song called For The World To See, which is a straightforward, compact melodic rock/AOR song with a strong melody and shows the very emotional vocal quality of John Orr Franklin.
Dance Till Three has a bit of an electronic drums sound in the background, which suits the song well. This more slow song has some nice guitar solos.
Kiss The Sky for me has a bit of a Neal Morse feeling without Nealís voice, very nice is the ending electric guitar solo over the acoustic parts.
Reggae rhythm intro is the first thing you notice on Disappear. I think the extra percussion on this song gives it a little extra, a powerful song with again a nice guitar solo.
The first instrumental song of the album is called Flow, after an intro of acoustic guitar and piano a wonderful electric melody sets off towards some nice soloing. The song finishes with an acoustic part.
The title song of the album has a relaxed sounding piano melody and some great harmonized vocal parts, Laurel Hostel doubles the vocals, which go together very well. Some parts of this song gave me a 70ís proggy feeling.
On The Dove there are again some strong emotional vocals, harmonized again.
The slower song Summer has a bit of a rhythm Ďn blues feeling, the guitar solo is very bluesy, which makes this song a cool one.
The second instrumental song, Chrysalis has some bluesy guitar and a great riff and leads to the most powerful song of the album.
The proggy singer songwriter type of True 2 You, is played with a lot of feeling and after the first bluesy solo it ends with a nice powerful guitar.
The closing song This Day is very relaxed and shows the vocal qualities again.

The album is a nice one to listen to, very relaxed and has great vocals and guitars.
No shredding, but good melodies. An emotional album that has promises for the future.
Check out some of the songs on Youtube to get a good impression.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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