Album Review: Evergreen – Olivia Frances

Olivia Frances is an independent singer-songwriter from Cincinnati, Ohio. Frances just recently released Evergreen, a follow-up album to her debut release, Back to Happiness. With a sunny disposition and what seems to be a permanent smile on her face, Olivia Frances is currently touring for her album release.

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The album cover.

The first song off of Evergreen is entitled Great Blue, and starts with heavy bass and prominent tambourine. Frances seems to have a large range, and is a clear soprano. The background vocals near the end of the song are meant to sound robotic, almost, and the wisdom of this decision is a bit questionable. The drum beats are catchy, though, and Frances’s vocals fit well with the background music. The second song, The Sweetest, starts with a simple acoustic melody and instrumentals, and the lyrics seem to be very naive – or, in kinder terms, innocent. The beginning lines are, “you’re like caramel corn/and a rainbow after a storm”. The song gives off a feel of Taylor Swift’s early, country-esque years, and features gentle vocal harmonies. The music is just like Olivia Frances herself – constantly sweet and sunshiny, and giving off an impression of pure happiness rather than the not-so-perfect stories reality so often provides. The third song, Starring You, is bouncier, and feels like it should be played at a hoedown or other casual get-together. These lyrics are a bit deeper, referencing pop culture and Shakespeare. The song ends with a giggle, and the fourth song, Sunset Saturday Night, begins. This one is more nostalgic than the previous tracks, and isn’t really a party song. The fifth song, Room With A View, portrays a cliche picture of a couple discussing dream vacations. Lonely Girl is the sixth track, and sounds more melancholy than the rest. This slower track laments a single girl (girl power!) with a quiet, lower tune. This song features belting, as opposed to the other tracks, which show off Frances’s softer head voice. The singer has a fairly smooth belt, despite her head voice clearly being her strong suit. The seventh track, Livin’ Outta My Suitcase, is a hopeful song about an artist trying to leave their small town and start anew. Happy To Be Here, the eighth track, is brighter, and includes a Green Day mention (which gives her a point in our book). This song also features a bit more belting, and while it’s not extraordinary, the contrast is definitely nice. Evergreen, the ninth and title track, has softer, gentler vocals. These vocals don’t sound like Frances is trying too hard, which can happen if an artist feels pressure to make a track amazing. It’s gentler, and it’s easy to imagine falling asleep to the song. Begin With Us is the final track, and begins with electric guitar.

Olivia Frances.
Olivia Frances.

While Frances’s voice isn’t the best in the world, it is pretty good, and her songs are catchy. She’s also beautiful enough to be a model. In music, looks don’t matter nearly as much as the sound, of course, but she fits the role of the “hopeful singer from a small town” pretty easily.

Although Olivia Frances is an independent indie artist, and isn’t quite a “professional” musician yet, her music is pretty catchy, and is well-recorded. While many stars-to-be record scratchy CDs and songs with too much editing on the technical side, this music sounds like it was recorded in a studio. Olivia Frances’s music is as cheerful as she is, and the young singer embodies a world of hopefuls in the indie scene today.

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