Album review: Frankmusik – ‘Complete Me’

They wonder why majors are struggling...

From its opening few bars, [a]Frankmusik[/a]’s debut is annoying. Like, ‘how can I turn this off, smash the stereo and contact a hitman simultaneously?’ annoying. It’s just nothing. Complete plastic nothingness from the outset. Polystyrene electro for clueless corporates. It’s actually less than that, it’s a black hole sucking all of pop’s best inventions into a dark void.

Like a fat American tourist, he lumbers round pop’s pyramids, touching what he shouldn’t touch and furtively tucking pieces of history into a lamé bumbag – Frankmusik sullies 8-bit chiptune (‘In Step’), power drums (‘Complete Me’), The Stranglers‘Golden Brown’ (‘When You’re Around’), synths, sentiment and even a sample from ‘Pump Up The Volume’. It’s variously like mouldy [a]Peaches[/a], [a]Hadouken![/a] cast to Hades and New Romantic turned divorcée.

The third track goes “boyfriend, boy b-boyfriend, ba-ba-ba-ba-boyfriend” and makes you want to travel back in time to slay whoever invented the gramophone to protect future generations – within the first 15 seconds. No mean feat.

Among a litany of abortions, it’s the earnest croon that galls the most, the soulless appropriation of Midge Ure, the way he mugs us with unnecessary leaps into falsetto when we’re finally relaxing into a song. ‘In Step’ manages to intertwine at least three separate but equally, itchily irritating vocal styles – sometimes simultaneously.

So now for the plus points. Witness ‘Confusion Girl”s “all the tears you made my cry, so now it’s time to say goodbye, and leaving you behind is my first step”. Despite being a masterclass in tired sentiment, it’s one of the more listenable moments. ‘Three Little Words’, too, begins OK-ish, before descending into a neurotic blast of ideas with all the subtlety of something off those ‘Bonkers’ hardcore compilations. Was Grammy-winning Killers/Madonna producer/remixer Stuart Price phoning this one in?

Frankmusik is a guy that will do anything for attention – including recording with Tinchy Stryder and live-tweeting the experience, and of course, that lame stunt that saw him dumped somewhere with only a BlackBerry and 20 quid to get him back to civilisation. If only he’d stayed lost.

Three little words? Fuck off now.

Tim Chester

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Click here to get your copy of Frankmusik’s ‘Complete Me’ from the Rough Trade shop.