Frank Ciampi

Big Top Woman

by Zeth Lundy

17 January 2008

 

Sure, it’s tough to top the absurdist kink of a song like “Big Top Woman”, the lead-off title track to Boston singer-songwriter Frank Ciampi’s debut album, what with its White Album-era lounge-blooze shuffle, brusque horns, and delightfully vivid lyric (“Time has come for everyone to see her / She’ll juggle flame and watch those lions tease her”). But Ciampi’s smart songwriting and appetite for the paradigms of classic pop and rock are a constant, impulsive force throughout Big Top Woman‘s 11 tracks, which alternate between sinuous Pet Sounds elegance (“Madeline Maybe”), prog-leaning power-pop (“Little Girl”), and McCartney-esque medleys (“On the Road”). Ciampi isn’t just an imitator of aesthetic, however—from song to song, he bends each archetype to his post-modern, irreverent will, yielding spring-loaded pop that’s both fresh and familiar.

Big Top Woman

Rating:

Topics: frank ciampi
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Black Milk Gives 'Em 'Hell'

// Sound Affects

"Much of If There's a Hell Below's themes relay anxieties buried deep, manifested as sound when they are unearthed.

READ the article