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Picks and Pans Review: Passion Fruit

updated 12/05/1983 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/05/1983 01:00AM

Michael Franks

Franks is as clever as ever. His Alone at Night includes the lines, "When I'm alone at night/Watching those reruns of Dragnet/Catching those rays of electrode light/Your love pulls at me like a magnet." He's as coy as ever, too: In another tune, he sings "You used to be her space invader/Snatching her free from King Kong's choke/She's allons-y/She'll catch you later/Now that your joystick's broke." (Franks has a compulsion to flaunt his French; five of the 10 songs on this album contain a word or phrase gratuitously dropped in en français.) For all those pleasures and annoyances, he's still basically a quiet jazz singer, even if he's a little less quiet and a lot less jazzy than he used to be. Harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans appears on a couple of tracks—with an especially poignant solo on How the Garden Grows—and Astrud Gilberto and Kenny Rankin show up among the background singers.

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