Frankie Miller - That's Who! The Complete Chrysalis Recordings (1973-1980)
7 CD Box Set
You know it’s Miller, Miller night
It is a regularly applied cliché that a select few could sing the phone book and make it sound compelling: which, on reflection, would be an intriguing project for someone to pursue. (Bet Sufjan Stevens would…)
The point is, if Frankie Miller did it, we’d swat orphans out of the way in our rush to buy it. The much-loved Scot is the vocalist that every other great singer in the world genuflects in front of: his impassioned delivery combines graveside grit and oceanic reserves of soul in equal measure.
Frankie Miller… That’s Who! effortlessly proves that his pre-eminence is inarguable. Five stars for the vocal performances, easy, even when shoehorned into inappropriately jaunty arrangements of Jealous Guy (from 1977’s Full House) and Is This Love (from 1979’s Falling In Love). The best stuff here is actually the earliest: debut album Once In A Blue Moon, from 1973, finds Miller backed by Brinsley Schwarz and includes the wonderfully smarting I Can’t Change It, while the Allen Toussaint-produced and New Orleans-recorded follow-up, 1974’s High Life, is like a dream teaming of Paul Rodgers and Little Feat. Only better. The previously unreleased original mix of this album is included for “compare and contrast” purposes. 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Reviewed by Marco Rossi
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