North East Post
A Voice of the Free Press
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
2:00 AM 31st July 2022

Album Review: Francois Klark Adventure Book

Francois Klark Adventure Book Amanecer (Antigua, Guatemala); Fuego; Pirates; Cecilia; Bedtimes; Beautiful Universe; Sailing; Paper Planes; Atardecer (Oaxaca, Mexico)

Francois Clark Mulder Independent release

There was a time when the likes of Jason Mraz, Donavon Frankenreiter and Jack Johnson dominated the radio airwaves. This was, of course, prior to the dominance of Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi. Had Canada based South African Francois Klark arrived on the scene at the time of the aforementioned, there is little doubt that while his sound would have shone brightly, it could have possibly been lost in the midst. Thankfully his sophomore album, Adventure Book, arrives after their radio play dominance, allowing him a moment to perhaps change the tide and start a new wave of that soundscape.

Adventure Book is a celebration of life and is inspired by the lessons he has learnt on his numerous travels around the world. Unsurprisingly it is, therefore, a rather wonderfully uplifting listening experience.

Instrumental album opener, Amanecer (Antigua, Guatemala), is effortlessly the album's most beautiful moment. With echoes of Olafur Arnalds, at his most upbeat, this is a tender, moving musical moment. Exploding into the brilliant bop Fuego, Klark makes it clear that while he knows how to compose magical memories in music, he is also able to tell stunning stories. However, it is in the more obvious radio moments, Cecilia and Sailing, that Klark has the key to translate his moving compositions into mainstream hits.

Although all the aforementioned shine brightly, the album's crowning moments arrives in the slightly jazz-driven Bedtime Stories. With a little John Stevens and a shade of Jason Mraz in the mix, this is where musically, lyrically and vocally it all just fuses into perfection.

Adventure Book does exactly what the title suggests. It takes you on a magical journey through soundscapes and memories, inspiring you to make more of your own.