Frank Santini is inspired by the music of his adolescence, that is 60’s AM radio stuff – Brian Wilson,”Shadow”Morton, and Jeff Barry etc. Previously Frank had released tracks such as “Love Sweet Love” and “Cool Loser Blues”, and now presents another one of his heartfelt retro tunes – “Home”. The production is minimal but not bare. The melody and tones are gorgeous and haunting. Frank’s lyricism has never been more personal and, to be honest, it almost feels voyeuristic listening to his words. They are honest, transparent, and earnest. Maybe this is a testament to where we find our culture today. We are tired of taking pills to numb our pain. We are tired of the fraudulent nature of our day to day and we are desperate with thirst for something authentic.
“Home” is visceral, emotional and a largely unpolished gem. The instrumental resonates with the sound of a gently strummed electric guitar and a twinkling piano in background support. The percussion nudges the arrangement ahead as Santini’s breaking voice passionately laments: “Nothing lost, nothing gained, just trying to find my way back home. Where I wanna be.” It is quiet yet substantive. It is about as real as it gets and will make you feel something real if you give it the attention it deserves.
Frank Santini is an unusual contemporary music artist. His songwriting subject matter can be wildly whimsical. I have not heard everything by him, but would acknowledge, based on what I have heard that most times he is not trying to appeal to the widest possible audience.
However, at his most accessible he is simply a sublime writer of songs, gifted arranger of sounds and musician. His songs are straightforward, sparely arranged tracks about love, loss, faith and memory, among other themes.
I think listeners will be struck by how beautiful Frank’s songs are in their simplicity and rough-and-ready starkness, and that the depth of their insight will be perpetually rewarding. Much like the music from the era Santini takes his inspiration from.
His musicianship here departs from the recent ostentatious efforts we currently hear on the radio and brings music back to its roots: a memorable melody, meaningful lyrics and honesty of intent.
Frank Santini is very good at respecting the boundary between performer and listener and keeping his work close to home and the heart. As opposed to concert halls and arenas, “Home” is more perfectly fitted for a smaller, intimate personal setting. That’s when the vulnerability in this performance becomes almost breathtaking.