Frankie Cosmos - Vessel Album Review

Story posted April 2, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Jenna Minnig

Nostalgia and sadness are among the endless variety of emotions felt through Greta Kline’s soft yet intense voice on her third album, Vessel. The singer is no stranger to vulnerability and she makes that very clear on this record with the help of her band, Frankie Cosmos. The 18 tracks feel like an intrusive journey into Kline’s inner thoughts of self-exploration and personal tension during a great chapter of her life.

The songs on Vessel delve into themes of self-love, being a woman, loss and heartbreak; all topics that take listeners on an intimate trip through extremely vulnerable moments in Kline’s life. The lyrics are consumed with detail and pain that had once been masked or overlooked on previous records. This is what makes Vessel one of the best releases from the band yet. The willingness to open up and share this phase of Kline’s life is different than the other albums that were filled with fictional narrators. Vessel exposes listeners to the real Greta Kline; a 24-year-old woman who experiences the same painful emotions as any other young adult learning about themselves, love and the world around them.

Frankie Cosmos succeeds in their ability to create something more than just dreamy, indie rock music. Brief but bold punk elements are evident in several tracks. For example, “Caramelized” is the opening song on the album and it slowly builds from a calm verse to a lively and upbeat punk sound. Compared to their previous records, Zentropy and Next Thing, which were calm and relaxing, Vessel takes a much different direction. This demonstrates Frankie Cosmos’ evolution to more dynamic musical arrangements and livelier compositions.

The musical evolution continues through their ability to pair heavy lyrics with energetic music while maintaining a pleasant sound. On “Cafeteria,” Kline sings, “I had sex once, now I’m dead.” Greta Kline’s feelings of insecurity and self-doubt are just another example of her willingness to open up about sensitive feelings on this record. The successful pairing of dark lyrics accompanied by bouncy instrumentals on Vessel are what have helped put Frankie Cosmos at the forefront of this new wave of subdued indie rockers. Another perk of this album is the minor imperfections that Kline chose to keep on many songs. “Ur Up” is an example where a subtle piano mistake gives the song charm. These little mistakes make for quirky songs filled with even more personality.

As an innovator in the indie-music scene, Kline has been an inspiration to many artists wanting to be DIY musicians. The singer, who is a veteran Bandcamp user, is also very active in all parts of the creative process, from writing music to designing tour merch. What makes Frankie Cosmos stand out from every other band creating indie rock music is their ability to pair dense lyrics with upbeat music and manage to make it an enjoyable listen. Frankie Cosmos is not going anywhere, and that was made that evident with this album; the question now is whether they will be able to top Vessel with their next release.

Rating: 8/10

 

Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at jkm5756@psu.edu.