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Before You Break
© 2006 Third Floor Chalet Songs

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Frank Critelli
Before You Break

Total Time: 35:15
Cost: $9.98 + s/h*

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STYLE: Singer/Songwriter

HOME TOWN: New Haven/Meriden, CT

Visit Frank Critelli's WEB SITE
& MySpace page 

Frank Critelli

1. Downhill
2. Horndog
3. It's The Way
4. Ahead or Behind
5. Reflections on a Friendship Heading South
6. Strange Opera
7. Nothing To Say
8. The Only Question Worth Asking
9. Before You Break
10. The Moment of Creation

Check out Frank's New LIMITED EDITION CD: A Rat's Dose
Also by Frank: 
Waltzing Through Quicksand,
Both / And, even more CDs by: Frank Critelli
and Check out Frank's side project:
Brutally Frank

Issue #89                                     Sept. ‘06

A current TV commercial by a popular sports drink shows a ball (basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, soccer ball…) on the playing field, it begins to rain, the ball begins to stretch, grow, strain, and eventually rips open as a well tuned, finely chiseled athlete of that particular sport bursts forth/breaks out.

Frank Critelli’s last CD was 2002’s Both/And, a beautiful, stirring self-examination of life, life’s lessons, the applications of such and their effects on not only one persons future, but the lives of those touched by them as well. In 2005 Frank teamed up with Mike Franzman and Tom Harrington to create Brutally Frank and released the 5 song EP, You can’t handle the truth, which broke the singer/songwriter mode and placed Frank’s folk style poetry in a more wide open band content.

Now, picture the same commercial with an acoustic guitar alone on a stage, next to it is a copy of Both/And. It begins to rain, raining Brutally Frank CDs, the guitar begins to stretch and grow, strain and eventually rips open as a well tuned, finely chiseled Frank Critelli bursts forth/breaks out. Before You Break, Frank Critelli’s new CD gives us just that.

Symbolically the Album opens with what seems to be a demo version of Brutally Frank’s Downhill From Here. Bare, solo, acoustic guitar leading a somber, muted-tone band, Frank’s vocals relate a tale of accepting the second half of life. With the title trimmed to Downhill – It’s as if Frank is saying; everything that’s got me this far is wonderful, but from here on out I’m gonna enjoy the ride, and you should too…

And away we go. The next 3 songs prove how serious Frank is about cutting lose not only musically, but lyrically as well. Horndog, gives us a garage anthem to getting laid - complete with The McCoys “Hang On Sloopy” fuzz guitar chords (Rick Derringer would be proud). Then, It’s The Way does a complete 180 as we find Frank back behind the acoustic guitar moving us instrumentally and delivering a heart-felt requiem of a man in love, yet questioning the foundation of that love “But the stars have changed / and I am lost in someone else’s sky.” Next, toss in a wonderful circus funeral march of Ahead or Behind, and wow, what a trifecta! With the incomparable Ed Leonard on Congas, Jef Wilson (who also did a beautiful job recording this album) on Melodica, and Frank’s vocals sounding as if squeezed through a low volume megaphone and backed by Frank’s own double tracked harmonic vocals, all lending an eerie, yet appropriate accompaniment to this tragic tale of lost souls.

While Frank reveals his mastery of Rubber Soul/Revolver era Beatles studiomanship throughout, with a sprinkling of Brian Wilson here and there, it is the two epics, Strange Opera and The Moment of Creation, which nicely proclaim that Frank Critelli has indeed burst forth and broken out.

Strange Opera delivers a great story about friends sitting around the kitchen table getting high while listening to the upstairs neighbor perform her Strange Opera (sex). “My heart is pounding / as I look around / to see the faces of my friends / astounded by the music / of the girl upstairs / whose song invades the room / yeah.” Set to a thumping Five Man Electrical Band sound (a la` Signs) it soars perfectly in the mood and vein of its intent.

The Moment of Creation, in an artistic twist, closes this album with a crescendo of sound building subtlety around the acoustic guitar and congas as Franks vocals loop back on themselves in rounds. Into the rounds we hear, slightly buried, the lyrics from Downhill once again making an appearance. Growing with the song’s instrumentation, the combined vocals of each song represent the circle/cycle that Frank has gone through musically and in life, and the growth that has allowed him the comfort and ability to burst forth, to break out, to go where he is going and enjoy the ride, because it is all downhill from here.

Before You Break by Frank Critelli
is available now for: $9.98 + s/h*

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*Shipping & Handling charges:
USA - $3.00 for the first 2 CDs ordered,
                     Add $1.50 per each CD after.
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                          Add $2.00 per each CD after.
Everywhere else -$7.00 for the first CD ordered,
                                        Add $3.00 per each CD after.

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