Of all the genres we hear on the radio these days it seems that neo-Americana is quite popular. Employing classic acoustic sound paired with story-like lyrics renders a theme that prevails amongst most contemporary popular music. With that said, it is somewhat difficult to find a group of artists who execute a quality form of such a musical endeavor. Rest assured, with their new release, This is How I Let You Down, The Franklin Electric has supplied a decent pop-folk album for 2013.
This is How I Let You Down marches along with an acoustic guitar element, clean and classic piano keys, uncomplicated drum tracks, floating brass textures, and a smooth voice with equally smooth and well-written words. The best way to describe the mood one feels when listening to the ten-track package from the Canadians, The Franklin Electric, is that it leaves you relaxed and fulfilled. The sound of the album is perpetual and builds up to settle back down again with a seamless and gentle landing. The tracks are neither abrasive nor do they make a listener cringe with angst. Quite appropriately, the smooth timbre of This is How I Let You Down does well to smooth over rough edges. Especially of note when considering the general feeling of This is How I Let You Down is the careful and quiet crooning of lead singer Jon Matte. Matte’s voice is an undoubtedly pleasant force and creates the skeleton of the album.
Moving on, the music of This is How I Let You Down is neither explicitly happy or sad. They ebb and flow between contemplative and semi-morose with tracks such as the title track, “This is How I Let You Down,” while other tracks simply suggest a steady foot tap and a sing-along like the final track, “Old Piano.” The balance between appreciation of regretful happenstances and a persistence to learn and adapt to life’s adversity sets the stage for the new album. To get a feel for this, tune into tracks eight and nine, “I Can’t Change Your Mind” and “Show me the Quiet Air.” Paired together, they paint a decent picture of the overall feeling of The Franklin Electric of 2013.