In the five years since his last studio album, trippy troubadour Michael Franks has gained a certain alluring vocal huskiness but lost none of his hazy sangfroid. Much of Time Together unfolds like a global summer travelogue and, fittingly, features a top-drawer assortment of international guests, including German trumpeter Till Brönner, Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo and Russian trumpeter Alex Sipiagin. The world tour begins in Franks’ own backyard with “Now That Summer’s Here,” a lilting, hammocks-and-flip-flops ode to relaxation. The autobiographical “One Day in St. Tropez” recalls a 1963 hitchhiking-through-Europe incident involving a Jaguar XKE and Brigitte Bardot, and “Samba Blue” remembers a Parisian tryst with his wife, Claudia.
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