The very first minute of the opening cut of this CD is not heartening. A gruffish Frankz delivers an epigrammatic piece of condescending pontificating as a prelude to his theme on individualism, an intro not only "not" needed but patronizing. Just two lines and he's off to a bad start. On the other hand, the guy's been hired to fill in on guitar duties by the Doobie Bros., Black Oak Arkansas, Little River Band, 38 Special, Atlanta Rhythm Section, and Earth, Wind, & Fire. Impressive.
Frankz's music is a heavily country-based potpourri of that style, rock, and sometimes a bit of boogie, the last choice being a wise one, lending the right tempo and boot-scootin' attitude. However, as a lyricist, there's a generous sense of independence alongside a too-generous reversion to clichés, especially with metaphor attempts in songs like "Midwestern Skies". In fact, The Traveler turns out to be a constant play of contrasts. In whole, this is quite listenable as a good compromise between country and soft rock, one of those discs allowing anti-country-oriented listeners to soften their sentiments and begin to dig into the mode.
Nonetheless, Frankz needs to spend more time on his poetry and its function within the art. The verses are much too simplistic for the most part, reflective of well-charting bland pap, giving no real idea of where the guy's true thoughts are. Too, as inferred, he also needs to get more daring with his music crafting. Possessing, obviously (else why would giant musical acts hire him?), an abundance of talent and good sidemen, not a whole lot of either is very complimentarily exposed here.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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