Heaven, the 2014 release from Robert Francis peels back the layers of rock that put him on the music map. At several points, the classic sounds of Johnny Cash and Kenny Loggins creeps in unexpectedly, especially in songs like Wasted On You, Heaven (the title track) and Everything Will Pass.
Following the success of 2009’s Junebug, Robert Francis has taken his folk-styled rock and turned it on its head. Later that year his seminal hit All My Trains would take him a step further in establishing his place in the emergence of indie folk music with placement in two motion pictures (The Vicious Kind and Deadfall).
These past five years have been a half-decade of maturity, not only in songwriting but in navigating through the dark side of success. Three record companies, innumerable tour stops, and a different album with each record deal led to the creation of Heaven. Robert Francis would name his next album Heaven, ironically enough after travelling so long through the opposite end of the spectrum. After a period of battling through substance abuse following the success of his 2012 release Strangers In The First Place, songwriting brought him back to the realm of the living.
This time recorded and produced with accompanying band The Night Tide, Francis lets the folk storytelling-style allo whim a new way to reveal his hea
rt through music. This is not to say that all the tracks don’t plug into to something electric and upbeat. While not all of the tracks are a leap away from what got him started (including the first single Love Is A Chemical) this latest iteration of Robert Francis bares a different kind of soul, or better stated, one more easily relatable than what his age might imply.