Explorer of the World Cover

Frances England‘s new “Explorer of the World” is one of the most consistently brilliant and beautiful albums of 2016. This album is the soundtrack to the adventures you want to take. Her songs cultivate curiosity and wake up wanderlust by inspiring you to look up and admire the beauty in the world around you. The beauty of the every day. The beauty of the far away. Joined by a talented team of musicians (Dean Jones, Dave Winer, Gustafer Yellowgold, etc) Frances England captures the wonder of discovering something new. Her songs warm your heart, move your feet, make you grab a hand, and hit the street. Explorer of the World is our favorite Frances England album and a strong contender for a Grammy award.

So how does a Full Van Fun review work? Each member of the family listens to each song and scores it as AWESOME, average, or not awesome.  We total up the scores for each song as well as the whole album (e.g. if everyone in the family scores every song as AWESOME, then the album would be 100% AWESOME, if everyone scores every song as average, it would be 50% AWESOME, etc.).

The Songs We Liked

On Frances England’s Explorer of the World, there were no perfect 100% AWESOME songs, but several came really close:

  • Explorer of the World (94% AWESOME) – the title track leads off the album with a wanderlust anthem for all ages.

  • City of Hills (94% AWESOME) – a love song to San Francisco that sweeps you into the spirit of the City of Hills.
  • See What We Can See (88% AWESOME) – a soft power pop with a balance of guitar, trumpet, and drums that inspires you to look up and see the world around you.

  • Closer to You (88% AWESOME) – this cute duet with Stew Peck sings of all the various modes of transportation one might take to get closer to the ones they love.
  • Street Life (88% AWESOME) – the sounds of San Francisco are woven into an electro-trumpet toe tapping tapestry.

The Songs We Didn’t

None! This is the first album we’ve reviewed where EVERY song was 75% AWESOME (think almost 3.5 out of 5 stars) or better!


Frances England (Photo credit: Frances England)

Final Score

Overall, we give Frances England’s Explorer of the World a resounding 84% AWESOME (in other words, a little better than 4 out of 5 stars) that was consistently strong across every song for parents and kids alike.


The little ones gave Explorer of the World a perfect 100% AWESOME with only a slight drop off for the older kids and mom and dad. Frances England’s Explorer of the World is one of our favorite albums of 2016, so pick up your copy today!

If you haven’t yet, you might be interested in some of our other album reviews and #8isEnoughQuestions interviews with artists like Sugar Free AllstarsMista Cookie JarThe Not ItsMike PhirmanDanny Weinkauf of They Might Be GiantsTurkey AndersenLucky Diaz and Alisha GaddisBryan Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe, Josh and the JamtonesPlay DateRecess MonkeyAndrew and Polly, Greg Page (Original Yellow Wiggle)Rissi Palmer, Jim Cosgrove, and Tim Kubart.

Disclosure: Full Van Fun was provided a copy of the album for possible review.

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