As a huge Batman fan, the word “Gotham” got me excited. I soon discovered, much to my dismay, that Franklin Gotham’s Something You Remember has little to do with the Caped Crusader. But independent of this glaring flaw, Something You Remember is pure pleasure. The masterful composition, beautiful vocals, and cleverly quirky lyrics managed to warm my otherwise frozen heart, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it could do the same for any fan of chill indie pop.
Right off the starting line, Something You Remember grabbed me with “Casanova,” the first track. The song isn’t terribly fast, but a fusion of upbeat guitar strumming and warm drumming keeps everything moving forward, while some unobtrusive synthesizer and melodica parts keep things from becoming repetitively stagnant. The vocals don’t steal the limelight from the song’s other components, with simple phrases like “When we first met, I felt like Casanova/ From across the room, I could you feel you coming over” add to the texture of the song without forcibly defining it. And I couldn’t help but chuckle at how the song’s chorus changes up at the end. Normally, the vocalist sings, “A late,long walk to the car/ Led by a distant star/ Please tell me just how far/ To get wherever you are,” but at the song’s close, listeners are treated to the words, “Where the f*ck is my car (where’s my f*cking car)/ Lingering sounds from the bar/ If I was your distant star (distant f*cking star)/ Would you be my lonely guitar?” I couldn’t help chuckling at the sudden f-bombs, and this change-up in the song’s close lets it end on a lighthearted, yet somber note.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to analyze every song in obsessive depth. The point I’m hoping to get across is that this isn’t some off-brand, bargain bin, preowned music. Nah man, this is the good stuff. It’s well-written and inventive from start to finish. None of the songs drag on or overstay their welcome, and the album is paced perfectly. It may be no more than five tracks long, but Something You Remember is stuffed full of goodness. Whether you want some background music while doing chores, or tunes to wrap yourself up in during an uneventful evening, Something You Remember is a perfect choice.
*image from franklingotham.bandcamp.com, video from Franklin Gotham’s Youtube channel