My Ears Would Let Me Go
The plus and minus of recorded music is that you cannot see the performer and so images of that performer are based entirely upon the sound of his or her voice. Sometimes that image agrees with reality, sometimes not. After listening to Franny Hall's Take You Home CD (and talking to her on the phone a couple of times), I had a pretty solid audio-visual impression of the Louisville-born singer-songwriter in my head: probably about five-eight, longish dark hair, maybe a little exotic looking but well-traveled and maybe with a bit of a cynically smeared grin.
I had my reasons: hers is a soulful voice that soars when necessary, yet with just that edge of desperation of a woman pleading with a man who might be leaving but still womanly proud. Phew. (That was the title song.) Since songwriters write about what they know, her tunes suggest a full life so far, with a lover or three in the past. The opening lines of "Look Me In The Eye" say it: "All I really want is you deep inside me tonight / Wrap your arms around me, hold close, squeeze me tight / Look me in the eye, say that you love me." Deal.
Well, I went looking for more info on the Internet and found two photos of Franny, a blond-haired, fresh-faced woman in white Capri pants who might have been a cheerleader at Wagner or Ballard or U of K. So much for aural impressions.
As for the rest of this project, the eight songs tend to fall into a couple of categories: love songs ("Song About You," the title songs) and reminiscing about her past ("Happy Daze," "Good Ol'Days"). Judging from the personal information in the lyrics, Franny has to be forty or so (there's a `57 Chevy on the cover), which suggests that she either hasn't been playing much or just took a long time to get these songs together or maybe both, assuming that this is a debut project. The lyrics might have benefited from just a light editorial touch, especially when she lapses into the occasional bit of banality to make a rhyme.
Recorded in Nashville, I'll Take You Home leaves the listener who connects with that voice wanting to hear more, either tunes she's written or somebody else's. Fortunately, the production is not contemporary country at all (thank you, thank you), in spite of the crying electric guitar. Hall has a website atwww.frannyhall.com or www.frannyhall.net, (slow-loading) where you can get information about how to get a copy of this record and, presumably, a tour schedule.