Saturday, 1 October 2016

Frankie Miller – Frankie Miller’s Double Take, album review

A Vocal Celebration

This really doesn't take much analysis: the great Frankie Miller possessed one of the genuinely superb rock vocals. Suffering a brain hemorrhage in 1994, his career was obviously severely affected, and it has taken years of recovery to learn to talk and walk again.

These eighteen duets and one solo song are elaborations on a set of demos recently uncovered, and the list of partners is impressive, though hardly surprising for an artist so clearly adored by other artists, a singer not as widely known as he should be, in the way, for example, Paul Rodgers is as a similar gutsy vocalist.

Some of these stellar accompanying singers and/or musicians are: Huey Lewis, Bonnie Tyler, Rod Stewart, Joe Walsh, Steve Cropper, Kiki Dee, Willie Nelson, and Paul Carrack. A favourite track already is Kiss Her For Me, a duet with Rod Stewart, a long time friend and such a similar vocalist: they do not spar on this song as one might suspect, but compliment one another's grit and growl.

If you haven't for any strange reason come across Miller as a vocalist before, a gem of an example can be found in his singing on Sending Me Angels with Kiki Dee, where Frankie sounds remarkably like Otis Redding, and I mention as he is a singer with whom Miller is often compared as exemplar and accolade.

I like too the Kim Carnes duet on To Be With You Again, Miller quite sublime, and it doesn't really seem possible, but his vocal on I Want To Spend My Life With You is whatever the superlative for sublime should be, and Willie Nelson's accompaniment on this is in reality an unusual pairing, but Willie is probably the most prolific at this kind of joining in, and he is as ever vocally distinctive, and his guitar work too, obviously. Miller actually tears up the emotion on this song with unparalleled rock rootsiness.

Closer I Do is Frankie Miller solo, and it is completely beautiful. Talk about goosebumps!

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