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Album Review

Making his debut on Atlantic Records, Francis Dunnery hits with a bag of soulful pop/rock songs that is nicely entertaining. He's the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, so Fearless is Dunnery through and through. He even boasts that "this record was made in an A&R free zone." That's quite an admirable accomplishment for a newcomer, but that's just the kind of upstart he is. Fearless kicks off with two grooving tunes, "American Life in the Summertime" and "Homegrown," that are ready-made to sing along with. The first is an interesting observational piece on America as seen through the eyes of an Englishman; the second, you may recognize from sparse radio airplay. Mixing up the styles a bit, "Fade Away" flows with an almost reggae feel; "Climbing Up the Love Tree" leans heavy on the drums, piano flourishes, and understated bassline; and "Couldn't Find a Reason" somehow successfully combines harmonica and tabla with soft harmonies. Sometimes brash, sometimes tender, Dunnery is a clever lyricist so the end result is generally pleasing. His best work is probably yet to come, but Fearless is certainly a fine start.


Born: 25 December 1962 in Egremont, Cumbria, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The onetime frontman of the progressive rock group It Bites, singer/songwriter Francis Dunnery was born on Christmas Day, 1962 in Egremont, Cumbria, U.K. His tenure with It Bites began in 1984, and after three LPs concluded in 1990; during that time Dunnery invented the Tapboard, a unique guitar-like instrument fitted with such odd accessories as a shower hose and an egg timer. Turning towards a more conventional pop sound, he issued his first solo album, Welcome to the Wild Country, in 1991, and...
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Fearless, Francis Dunnery
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