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You can't handle the truth
© 2005 Third Floor Chalet Songs

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Brutally Frank
You can't handle the truth.

Total Time: 17:14
Cost: $ 5.98 + s/h*
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STYLE: Coffeehouse Alt.

HOME TOWN: New Haven, CT

1. Downhill From Here
2. I Feel Fine
3. Selfish One
4. The Unspoken Thing
5. Psycho Stone

Check out more CDs by:
(Brutally) Frank Critelli

Visit Brutally Frank (Critelli)'s WEB SITE.

Brutally Frank

Issue #80                                  Nov ‘05

I don’t see / Anyone but me / My reality / is a syncopated / self-inflated / rhyme

Everyone has a way to exorcize their demons. Maybe it’s alcohol, drugs, triple fudge brownies, or some bizarre ritual either handed down through the family/friends, or for that matter created in an instance of revelation, no matter how inane and senseless at the time. It can become an aura, a karma, a bit of inner peace. Artists find that exorcism in their arts.

Brutally Frank is a side project of Frank Critelli (guitar, singing). We won’t discredit the value of Mike Franzman (drums , percussion), and Tom Harrington (bass) – because of them we are treated to singer/songwriter Frank Critelli’s inner album, his inner peace. As Brutally Frank these three musicians shine. What I should do is handle Brutally Frank as a band unto its own.

But I won’t. Brutally Frank is Frank Critelli, writer. As a writer, Frank passes along individual tales that can be at once biographic, autobiographic, or just straight out fictional - either way they are amazing tales of personal insight that make you connect with not only the author, but also the character on the stage that is so deftly constructed upon the intense undergroove of Tom’s deep rhythmic bass playing and Mike’s plethora of drum kits.

In You can’t handle the truth, a 5 song EP, we find Frank Critelli purging his soul in a much different manner than his previous solo releases. Placing song arrangements into the hands of a band allows Frank to step outside of himself and present the “truth” in a 3rd person removed fashion. It loosens him up to the point where he can give us a wonderfully tempered upbeat rendition of Downhill from Here, which looks at the 2nd half of someone’s lifetime. Using a perfectly timed harmonica break/bridge to give pause, to reflect on the concise lyrics, we acknowledge the good in what has not only passed but what yet lies ahead even in the decline of our years.

By following that with I Feel Fine, Frank once again takes an obvious singer/songwriter composition of bleak reflections on the sadness and loneliness of life in general and twists it upward with jaunty bass lines, tight rhythmic drumming, and a happy harmonica urging us onward: “How would I know if the sun will rise tomorrow / How should I know what to do with today / All the time we waste in preparation / For a future we may never taste / My time is mine / and it’s not mine / My oh my / sunshine / I will drink wine / And I feel fine.”

I’m sorry / she’s unimpressed” opens song 3, Selfish One, and coming on the heals of I Feel Fine, it follows the same up-tempo philosophy while giving a contrasting answer to the previous song’s statement. Where I Feel Fine relates that the best way to deal with the uncertainties of life is to be sure to make your own good in your life, Selfish One gives us the 180 degree angle look that the better half is usually able to provide. Sang in the 1st person point of view, the narrator recognizes the criticism involved with his current “Downhill from here / I feel fine” outlook on life.
I must confess / I don’t see / Anyone but me / My reality / is a syncopated / self inflated / rhyme.” But when we’re told “no there’s no question / who’s the selfish one.” We are left to wonder; who indeed?

With those personal demons vanquished, Frank, Mike, and Tom: Brutally Frank, turn their attention to the vehicle of the exorcism, the art of music, by presenting one of the best psychedelic tunes ever written. The Unspoken Thing, opens with a Doors styled bass line grooving slowly under a sprinkling of Jefferson Airplane tambourine – add Beatles style production techniques (including backward tape looping), a soaring lead guitar, tribal drums and vocal F/X and before you know it it’s 1968. The strobe lights and lava lamps are at full tilt, incense wafts through the beaded doorways and everyone is barefoot and stoned. A total trip that’s worth taking again and again - “Don’t say a word,” just hit repeat again and again…

Psycho Stone closes this homage to one man’s inner self (which once exposed does look quite like many others as well). A conglomerate of (I’m not your) Stepping Stone and Psycho Killer, this run through allows Brutally Frank to temper the end of You can’t handle the truth with a bit of side fun that’ll have everyone whose been listening smiling at all the syncopated, self-inflated rhymes that we’ve all come to identify with as our bizarre rituals or instances of revelation that have become our auras, karmas, and bits of inner peace.

Brutally Frank may have been created by Frank Critelli to privately exorcize his demons, but by releasing it, he has helped to do the same with ours.

That doesn’t sound too selfish to me.

Maybe we can handle the truth.

You can't handle the truth. by Brutally Frank
is available now for: $5.98 + s/h*

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