One of the more accurate criticisms of the disco scene was anonymity. Some felt that the musicians and groups making hits were faceless, anonymous musicians simply performing to make a quick buck, a chart hit, and a club hit, with no concern for artistic quality. While time has proven that this really wasn’t the case—a great deal of skill and artistry did go into making disco music—there was a grain of truth to the accusation of anonymity, and such was the case with Frantique, seemingly a trio of women, but essentially a Svengali-minded project of songwriters Jack Robinson and James Bolden. The duo were quite prolific, and wrote a number of hit songs, especially for Gloria Gaynor. For Frantique, the duo did everything but sing, and though the album was only four songs long, they were four long songs, all of which would be edited down for commercial consideration. It wasn’t a long-shot, though; “Strut Your Funky Stuff” would be a minor hit in 1979, and to be fair, the four songs on Frantique are very much of their time—long instrumental passages, soulful singing, and a happy-go-lucky groove that is instantly enjoyable. If there’s one regret about this one-and-done group, it’s that the songwriting duo didn’t give it enough consideration; a 1980 single, featured here among the bonus, offered two songs that weren’t so much disco as they were pop-minded soul, of a kind that would soon come into fashion. “Steady With Teddy” is a catchy, up-beat girl-group number, while “Sensual You All” is a sly, sexy groove. Both songs show promise, but the creative duo simply moved on to other things. Frantique is an enjoyable memento from the last days of disco.
Categories: Album Reviews