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Mandays CD Cover
Image © 1999 Oochmuse Records 

(01 October 2000) Singer songwriter guitar player Fran Lucci's debut album is entitled Mandays (Oochmuse Records (USA) 8839-41001, 1999). Another self-titled album is also currently available at the artist's website although Musical Discoveries has not had the opportunity to hear it. Fran says that the second release is in the works. It seems that samples from it are currently available at the artist's mp3.com website.

Earlier Fran was lead singer and songwriter with the Holograms. The band released a successful album and toured Europe. Upon her return to the USA, Fran began a solo career being selected a finalist in the 1998 Philadelphia Lilith Fair Unsigned Artist contest. Lucci has also had songs placed in the popular television series Dawson's Creek and co-wrote a song for Jennifer Love Hewitt entitled "I Believe In." Further biographical information is available at Fran's own website.

Mandays is comprised of ten primarily softly rocking tunes each laced with guitar licks that never overpower the artist's stunning vocal work. Her voice is crystalline; lyrics are always sung—rather than spoken. Harmony layers support the melodies while vocal excursions fully illustrate Lucci's range and power. Instrumental arrangements permit the supporting artists to show the extent of their talent as well.

The album's edgy rocking tunes include the opening number "Planned Community," "Maybe," and "Ordinary Girl." Lovely vocal harmonies and guitar-based arrangements perfect support the artist's lead. Guitars and percussion support a country blues like rhythm in the track "Oh Ma." We especially enjoyed the acoustic guitar supported ballad "Coin In My Pocket" and the rich keyboards that join acoustic guitar in the ballad "The Hardest Part."

"Colors" and "I Don't Care" are a soft ballads accompanied primarily by piano arrangements and serve well to illustrate Lucci's crystalline vocals in an almost country style. An epic rock-'n-roll number entitled "Patterns on the Wall" is certain to please a broad audience. Listen for the Bonnie Raitt allusions in the lead vocal and extensive guitar excursions during the instrumental bridge. The album closes with the classic rocker "Wrong Way Dick."

Ordering information for Fran Lucci's albums is available at her website. You may also obtain a four track compact disc from her mp3.com website. Clearly an artist with vocal prowess spanning range and power, her virtuousity is evident in the debut recording Mandays. Worthy of further exploration, it is certainly a very nice listen!

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