Frank Zeno – “Anyways”

 Frank Zeno – “Anyways”

Frank Zeno – “Anyways” – Single Review

Been about a year & a half since we last heard from Frank Zeno, back when we reviewed his single “Hey Hey!” in January of 2022, and of course our history in listening to the man goes back even further to his cut called “Panic Attack” from 2021…it’s always great to catch up with the dedicated artists out there in this music scene we’re sharing.  Frank’s back with a song he’s written, mixed, and mastered himself, and played with his ever-reliable band-mate, the legendary Sonny Emory (Clapton) on the drums for ya, on a brand-new single called “Anyways.”  It’s got a gentle but catchy Rock vibe goin’ on, with Zeno giving you a dusty whispered approach in the vocals to pair with the upbeat sound of the music & melody…it’s kind of somewhere between the low-key cool of a Stones or Black Crowes song, paired with the style you’d find on early Spin Doctors records…”Anyways” is lighthearted fun & easy-to-enjoy entertainment for all.

Is it fair to say that the degree of complexity you’d have discovered in a single like “Hey Hey” is dialed way the heck back here on “Anyways?”  I think it is.  Don’t get me wrong…there’s never anything wrong with simply executing on what you know you can…but there is definitely a part of me that wonders whether or not a song like this is challenging enough to Zeno, or if he could write fifteen of these tunes before fallin’ out of bed in the morning.  It’s hard to say…you’d really have to ask the man behind the music at the end of the day…but from my perspective, “Anyways” is very much built on the meat and potatoes we know and have heard throughout history…which could be a good or bad thing when it comes to the court of public opinion out there.  On the one hand, the whole vibe feels highly familiar to us even though it’s a brand-new song…which can be a great way to get people to connect to a song right away – but on the other hand, there’s arguably less identity to a track like this as well overall.  So that’s really up to Frank to decide whether or not the trade-off here is worth it or taking his music in the right direction…sometimes the easier route is the right way to go as long as you make sure the attention to detail is there, which he has on this single.  I don’t feel like there are many obstacles between him and his audience enjoying a song like this, but it’s harder to argue that “Anyways” is going to be the cut that puts him on the map.  It’s got single-worthy sound for sure, and hooks that certainly work…I really like what I hear in the backing vocals supporting the lead, and what I hear in the lead itself too…but it does feel like “Anyways” is definitely on the easier side of what we know Frank Zeno to be capable of.  The question becomes, do we accept that?  It’s hard to argue with a smooth groove, which is really what you get here in this tune…it’s only because we’ve heard what he can do in the past that it feels like this new cut pales a bit in comparison with regard to the skills required to make it, but at the same time, you’ve gotta acknowledge that a master craftsman also knows exactly when to leave things be, or when a song has everything it needs.  I don’t necessarily feel like there’s anything that’s been left out of “Anyways” I suppose…it’s different than that I guess…it’s more along the lines of me being unsure there’s enough in this tune for the wow-factor to be present, or if Frank’s so laidback that it’ll be harder for the people listening to get as excited as you’d want them to be with a new single.  It’s always tough to figure out what the folks tuning in are gonna want…all Zeno needs to do is satisfy himself with what he creates and if we happen to dig that, fantastic.  As always, I just want people to listen and immediately know where what they’re hearing comes from…and that’s exponentially harder to establish when there’s a bit less of the you we know in what we’re experiencing.  “Anyways” is still Frank Zeno enough to be a Frank Zeno tune…but I think he’s made a much more lateral move with this single, as opposed to pushing himself forward as an artist.  The end result of a scenario like that tends to feel a bit less inspired, but ultimately, doesn’t always affect how enjoyable a track can be.  I still think a whole lot of people out there will have no problem whatsoever finding their way into a track like “Anyways,” and that Frank’s got an inherently cool vibe to him that makes his music consistently engaging…you wanna root for this guy, which is great.  We’ve also gotta somewhat hold the man accountable for the awesomeness we know he’s capable of too – so it becomes a fine line to walk, and tougher to find the balance of what we need out of his music versus what he needs as its creator.  My main concern is that a track like “Anyways” is gonna burn out a whole lot quicker with a whole lot less involved in it…but as for whether or not it’ll keep ya entertained for this summer, I have no concerns whatsoever.  I’ve always gotta be THAT DUDE that pushes people towards their true potential, I know, I know – but if I’m being real with ya, as much as I dig the rhythmic vibe of “Anyways,” deep down, I’m also thinking about how I KNOW Frank’s got even more in the tank.

Word on the street is that he’s got a whole lot of music coming out this year.  Ain’t a doubt in my mind that “Anyways” is a decent start, but that he’ll also go on to crush his new material even more down the road as 2023 carries on.  The best advice I’ve got for the man is to be daring, and to be cautious about playing things too safe…”Anyways” proves he can execute his music with precision, and that is without a doubt a great thing, but he’s gonna need a bit more to it if he wants to reach that next level career-wise.

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