Review: Fran Ashcroft’s album ‘The Songs That Never Were’

Album Review

Fran Ashcroft

By Ljubinko Zivkovic, Rock At Night Amsterdam

Review: Fran Ashcroft – The Songs That Never Were-Release date – February 23, 2024

It might be ‘only’ Ashcroft’s second solo album, but he is already quite a name in British music circles, as Ashcroft stands behind dozens of other albums as a producer. The fans of power pop might also remember him as part of British genre trailblazers The Monos.

All that producing experience didn’t go to waste on this album, but it is not any production tricks Ashcroft relies on here, but some subtle, intricate songwriting, based on some solid melodies, which Ashcroft gives space to shine without burdening them with any complex arrangements.

If you want to draw a lineage from where Ashcroft’s solo music is coming from, you could go as far back as late psych maverick Syd Barret, Ray Davies of The Kinks or early David Bowie, all the stuff, the likes of Beck have also used as their initial source of inspiration.

‘The Songs That Never Were’ are actually quite there, existing exactly as they should.

 

Ashcroft describes this album as “a bridge across time” and “a collaboration between myself and me of fifty years ago”, made possible by two broken tape recorders and a little bit of AI technology.

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Ljubinko Zivkovic

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