Reviewed by Nuno on 28 Dec 2005
Completely unknown outside his homeland boundaries, Francis was one of the founder members of the most successful Portuguese Rock Band - Xutos e Pontapés, having participated in this bands first album 78-82. After leaving that band, Francis experienced a short solo career during which he released two albums.
Stiletto, originally released in 1986 was his first solo achievement, and it is still an album I give credit for its good musicianship and especially for the great and beautiful melodies it unfolds.
Accompanied by other known Portuguese artists such as Jorge Palma, Tó Pinheiro (Banda do Casaco, Perspectiva), Nana Sousa Dias, Guilherme Inês (José Cid, Fausto) and Zé Nabo (José Cid), Francis accomplished a very symphonic instrumental sound, incredibly close to that of Mike Oldfield from such albums as Ommadawn, Platinum or QE2.
In fact, despite the music here displayed can be somehow described as a cloning to the sound of Mike Oldfield, especially when it comes to the guitar tone and playing, it is a very well done and excellently sounding collage, as the tracks are not only aesthetically beautiful, but they are varied and melodically rich.
Instrumentally, this album is flawless and I find it a relaxing, calm and insightful voyage. An album that perfectly serves as background music to daily routines and/or a driving company of the best kind.
This is easy listening, uncompromising music that allows all sorts of public to enter the realms of symphonic instrumental rock.
And if you are a Mike Oldfield fan from his 1975-1980 phase, then you should really put an extra effort in order to find this album. You won’t regret it!