Saint Monday (Little Fuji)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., April 8, 2011
Michael FracassoSaint Monday (Little Fuji)
He's certainly not prolific. Saint Monday is only Michael Fracasso's third studio effort since 1998, but the payoff plays as passionately and convincingly as he does. Offering a change of pace for the local songcrafter, novelist Jim Lewis as co-producer, auxiliary guitarist, and assistant songwriter makes for a harder-hitting sound, one that's definitely louder, but also one that forces its local singer-songwriter into a space where his vocals are as dynamic as their superb musical contextualization. Churning murder ballad "Elizabeth Lee" and the starkly muted, piano-only "Another Million" find Fracasso stretching but never breaking, his literary vision intact. A revival of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero," given a clattering reading, proves the song's continuing relevance 40 years on. Though he makes new music infrequently, Fracasso remains one of Austin' most distinctive voices.