Warren Franklin
Your Heart Belongs To The Midwest


3.5
great

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
July 31st, 2011 | 34 replies | 6,054 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


2 of 3 thought this review was well written

There’s not a weird thing about Your Heart Belongs To The Midwest. Nothing. It’s exactly the sort of album you would expect from a singer-songwriter who wears worn-down Against Me! tees and tours like his life depends on someday reaching his millionth show. The jaunty album begins with “Bro Downs Know No Bounds,” a track whose name might frighten you off-- but don’t fret. “Bro Downs” is the epitome of everything right on this record, as Warren’s exuberance and sincerity shine through the holes amid flourishes of horns and acoustic danciness. It holds the gritty yells that would make Tom Gabel proud and the sort of folk/punk mesh of songwriting that would make Andrew Jackson Jihad jealous. At its best, Your Heart Belongs To The Midwest serves as a spirited mix of homey acoustic tunes and wailing (in which you can basically hear Warren Franklin smiling as he sings) that leaves your heart just a little bit warmer upon listening.

It wouldn’t be a fair trial though, without mentioning the fact that Franklin can’t quite hold a candle to the aforementioned bands, not yet at least. It’s worth mentioning that no tracks really hold a candle to the opener, even if this is a pretty high standard to expect. What slowly becomes the most interesting battle on Your Heart Belongs is the mundanity and redundancy (let’s be honest here, the album’s been done before) that the record so often borders on and the ways in which Franklin tries to combat this. He comes close to beating it down, really. Franklin isn’t alone in this battle, thankfully. Members of The Island of Misfit Toys provide the backing, and the unexpected inclusions of horns, mandolins, organs and a variety of instrumental accompaniments provide an original leg for Your Heart to stand on. This aspect is most evident on the eclectic collaborations on “You Get Weary” and its clappy follower “You've Never Heard ‘My Aim Is True,’” and it also showcases Franklin’s kinship with other bands that he attempts to convey throughout the album, as well.

Even with a team of musicians and collaborators behind his cause, Franklin can’t help but fall into territory that’s been perfected time and time again, and frankly doesn’t need to be perfected an umpteenth time. At times it sounds like he’s singing on sincerity only, like it’s his last remaining asset. And it is convincing! If nothing else, his ability to stretch his voice to surprising limits like on the raucous “Bro Downs.” Besides the occasional yelling, it’s so smooth, Warren Franklin’s sophomore effort. Sometimes that smoothness melds into a sort of indistinguishable wishy-washiness though, and it becomes fairly indistinguishable at points-- more so later in the piece. Upon entering the studio, Warren originally planned on recording four songs, but the birth of this impromptu LP came when an additional five sprung up, sort of like corn on the midwest plains.

In the end though, it sounds far too harsh to speak about Your Heart Belongs To The Midwest in terms of originality. Rather, it’s an exercise in sincerity, and an obvious one at that. Warren Franklin is all about the lovable candor, the infectious exuberance that permeates strum after strum of his sophomore album. The lighthearted blitheness is reminiscent of more than a few artists that have traveled similar paths; but given its due time, Your Heart Belongs To The Midwest innocently and inevitably carves out its home in-between your ears, until your heart belongs to Warren Franklin.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
July 31st 2011



19729 Comments


it's pretty impossible not to like this a lot

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

bungy
July 31st 2011



8843 Comments


didn't read it but my eyes got caught on Against Me! for a sec


pos

SeaAnemone
July 31st 2011



19729 Comments


I wouldn't compare it to against me all that much sonically... just a sort of feeling i get from it if that makes sense

FatChickIrl
July 31st 2011



4096 Comments


Your Heart Belongs To SeaAnemone

bungy
July 31st 2011



8843 Comments


started to read but microwave went off

SeaAnemone
July 31st 2011



19729 Comments


Your Heart Belongs To SeaAnemone


oh how I wish


and understandable interruption bungy do what you must

mallen-
July 31st 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds like it will be absolutely impossible for me not to love this

SeaAnemone
July 31st 2011



19729 Comments


http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/bro+downs+know+no+bounds

take a listen to this if you're interested! ... first song at the top

ConsiderPhlebas
August 1st 2011



6157 Comments


Need this by the looks of it. Cool review.

mallen-
August 1st 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah so this is really good

wabbit
August 1st 2011



6978 Comments


ugh so excited for this cause I'm going to like this way way more than you

mallen-
August 1st 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh we'll see about that

wabbit
August 1st 2011



6978 Comments


not you eric...though I am a bigger frank turner fanboy than you now

mallen-
August 1st 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes because England isn't as good as LIS

wabbit
August 1st 2011



6978 Comments


it's better and SIFTW is almost as good

mallen-
August 1st 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SIFTW is really good, but I wouldn't go that far

SeaAnemone
August 1st 2011



19729 Comments


really glad you like it mike... thought you might!

and let's not turn this into a Frank Turner thread guys nobody wants that

wabbit
August 1st 2011



6978 Comments


I'm sorry that I wreck all your threads...esp if it's me and bungy


SeaAnemone
August 1st 2011



19729 Comments


couldntwinarabbit: hasn't listened to any new music in the past 17 months yet insists on making every new music thread as off-topic as he is


don't worry still love you bro

wabbit
August 1st 2011



6978 Comments


it's like 5 months...bro



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