Even before current Hollywood princess Taylor Swift came up with her current album title Red, The Voice finalist Dia Frampton (or more famous as one half of Meg & Dia) already had her sights set on that symbolic word of passion, anger and love.
Her 2011 debut release, Red, has recently just reached our shores, and am I glad it did. The album is a solid production featuring slick dance-pop, alt-rock, acoustic folk tracks with syrupy choruses and a lilting set of pipes that is undeniably Frampton's. While the main focus is on cutesy dance-pop ditties like Don't Kick the Chair or Good Boy, Frampton didn't forget to experiment with a more organic sound on songs like Isabella and Trapeze.
A standout track that I immediately picked up was the electro beat-heavy Billy the Kid. Foster the People's Mark Foster was a co-writer and producer, infusing his distinctive songwriting and producing skills into Frampton's ability to pull off singing about a fictional Western (film genre) love story over a delightful bass riff. The result is an almost whimsical sound alike FTP's Houdini, but heavier-sounding and more menacing.
That, however, is not where Frampton shines best. In fact, the sounds seem to overwhelm her at times, especially with vocals that are soothing and not exactly powerhouse material. She sounds more comfortable on songs like Good Boy and Isabella, both of which are my favourites because of its fresh lyrics and perky tunes. The latter is a folk-rock experiment that I would alike to sounds from Mumford & Sons, while the former is a slow-tempo dance-pop track that is innocently seductive - a Frampton classic.
Daniel also holds a soft spot in my heart, with only Frampton's guitar and her vocals, she definitely is in her element. The acoustic-folk visually narrative song is one that could even rival T-swizzle's songwriting abilities, maybe better. The closer Trapeze is a winner, with its running emotions evident in the lyrics and Frampton's vulnerability - and makes for a great end to what is a simple album full of emotions.
Track Cuts: Trapeze, Don't Kick the Chair, Isabella, Good Boy