Where the Wind Turns the Skin to Leather
Danish recording artist Marie Frank's full-length follow-up to her dreamy EP Swimmingly is here. 'Where The Wind Turns The Skin To Leather' finds Marie and her familiar team in fine voice and fresh story-telling form. Produced in shimmering stereo-tonic sound by Kent Olsen, the album's narrative arc follows the trail and travails of a young woman as she moves from the exasperation of domestic hiss to the escape of the highway to the empathy of accidents to the eternity of sorrow. In a way, Marie and the boys have fashioned a kind of CD road movie told in eerie black & white and grainy shades of gray. In quick succession the new disc kicks off with the witty lament I Like It When You Sleep, the Greek tragicomedy Kiss The Messenger, and the declaration of interdependence Drive a perfect pop trio of conflict, conflict and resolution. The band is really firing on all cylinders, while Marie and the ingenious rock-poet Neill C. Furio have truly penned verses and bridges and choruses worthy of the ride. She's an old 55, indeed. The plot line takes a turn for the worse on It Can't Get Any Worse, which simultaneously proves that irony isn't dead and that you can't go home again. Check out the dueling Id and Ego electric guitars by Giant Sand daddy-o Howe Gelb and six-sting super hero Søren Koch. And speaking of Giant Sand, the retreat to the Arizona desert can be heard on Marie's dusty bossa nueva cover of Howe's Leather. A matter of unravel, indeed. And speaking of covers, Neill's C. Furio's city-wistful Scrabble-ina gets an upstate remake courtesy of Woodstock tunesmith Kevin Salem. Water makes a whimsical comeback on I See What You Say, which finds a thirsty Marie mistakenly drinking her sweetheart's contact lenses with eye-opening results. Whoops Wrong Daisy, 'he loves me' is always one petal out of reach. And on It Passed You By, time is both of the essence and out of gas. The album's stunning closing chapters, the fragile acoustic All Fall Down and the luminous morphine lullaby Spot On The Moon, recall an autumn to forget and a winter frozen in X-ray results. Suitably, the Danish music press has been singing the five-star album's praises since it's October release. 'Ave Marie!' one journalist wrote. 'You hold your breath in anticipation of what each next song will bring and, by album's end, are rewarded with an intense sense of release.' And that's just one journalist. Where The Wind Turns The Skin To Leather is where you'll find Marie Frank at her most tender and toughest and ticklish and touching.