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All in all, Adventure Book is quite the adventure, keeping listeners on their toes as Francois Klark dives into his time in Guatemala and Mexico, taking risks in his sound and themes that clearly show his evolution as a singer (Photo provided via @francoisklark on Instagram).



Album Review: Francois Klark takes listeners on an adventure in 'Adventure Book'

Francois Klark entered the music scene in 2018, dropping his debut album, Love. With only eight tracks, the album garnered the attention of major musicians such as Jon Bellion and Ginuwine.

Following his first release, the Canadian singer-songwriter received the Oscar Peterson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music from Humber College, the highest honor from its prestigious Bachelor in Music Program. 

Blending the genres of pop, neo-soul and electronic into his music, Klark’s work has been featured in films as well. His single, “Always,” was covered by Disney star Sofia Carson in Netflix’s Feel The Beat.

Now, with over 15 million Spotify streams under his belt, Klark is back with his sophomore album, Adventure Book. Drawing inspiration from his own favorite artists, Maggie Rogers and Labyrinth, the singer has built upon the foundation he laid with his previous album.

Adventure Book starts with a solely instrumental track, “Amanecer (Antigua, Guatemala),” which transports listeners into a dreamy, romantic atmosphere, almost as if you’re watching a fairy tale unfold. As the one-minute track comes to a close, it transitions into “Fuego,” where Klark puts his piano-playing skills on full display. 

More upbeat than the previous track, the song mixes pop and electronic influences to detail Klark’s experience in Guatemala, singing about meeting new people and discovering a new culture around him. This theme of discovery and putting oneself out of their comfort zone remains a constant throughout the next seven tracks, creating an exhilarating storyline for listeners to follow.

In “Pirates,” the singer imagines running away to Oaxaca City, Mexico with their partner and escaping the realities around him. A romantic song, it’s Klark manifesting what he wants for his future in a way, realizing he needs to take full advantage of being in a supportive relationship.

Integrating an R&B sound into his next song, “Cecilia,” Klark creates a standout on the album, thanking the title of the song for taking him on adventures throughout Mexico. With a nostalgic and sentimental tone, the singer can’t seem to forget this girl, wondering where she is now in her life.

The sound of trumpets rings in listeners’ ears as “Bedtime Stories” comes into the forefront, a jazz-like song where Klark promises to take care of his significant other, wanting to relieve them of their anxieties and fears. “I know the world’s not always kind / But you should know that I will always be by your side” builds on this key message, alluding to the notion that Klark is a loyal partner.

With just a guitar and his isolated vocals, Klark shows listeners his true talent on “Beautiful Universe,” a song that sounds similar to an acoustic Ed Sheeran song but nonetheless exemplifies the strength of the singer’s voice. With perfectly layered harmonies, the singer allows for hope to shine through as he sings of better times, ensuring listeners that the world’s current state will eventually improve.

“Sailing,” accompanied by an orchestra and synths, is another homage to Klark’s support system, listing all of the things he would give up in order for his partner to stay with him. Reflecting on his own struggles and loneliness, the singer admits he hates being alone and that he needs another person in his life to motivate and love him.

Written on an old Yamaha pump organ, the creeks from the instrument on “Paper Planes,” another standout on the album, allow for the perfect sense of intimacy and vulnerability on the track that Klark wanted to achieve. Another love song, “I am yours and you are mine / You and me ‘till the end of time,” is the main message of the song, making any listener want to express their love for whomever it may be.

The final track, “Atardecer (Oaxaca, Mexico),” signals the end of Klark’s reflection on his time in the country, another instrumental track that leaves listeners feeling hopeful, excited, and wonderstruck by the singer’s ability to transport them into another world in only 30 minutes.

Adventure Book is quite the adventure, keeping listeners on their toes as Francois Klark dives into his time in Guatemala and Mexico, taking risks in his sound and themes that clearly show his evolution as a singer. 

Rating: 5/5

grace_koe

gk011320@ohio.edu

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