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The Frames - Burn The Maps (Cover Artwork)

The Frames

The Frames: Burn The MapsBurn The Maps (2005)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'm just going to be completely honest, and say I've always hated U2. I was never a big fan of their music to begin with; Bono being one of the most arrogant people in music doesn't help my distaste for them in the slightest. So naturally, when a copy of the Frames fifth release Burn The Maps found .
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I'm just going to be completely honest, and say I've always hated U2. I was never a big fan of their music to begin with; Bono being one of the most arrogant people in music doesn't help my distaste for them in the slightest. So naturally, when a copy of the Frames fifth release Burn The Maps found its way to my desk, I was a little skeptical. This five piece from Ireland have been commonly know not only for their dynamic mood and tempo shifts, but the ability to pull both off well and put out some driving, beautiful rock music. So does Burn The Maps pick up where the band left off with 2001's For The Birds?

Yes and no.

The style that the Frames had made for themselves does stay true on this album, but they've also thrown in a bit of experimentation as well. I cannot fault them, or any band for trying something new, but some of the things they've tried here don't go over as well as they'd probably hoped. This is most apparent on the track "Ship Caught In The Bay." At first listen, it doesn't sound like things have changed all that much. The low, almost whispered voice of singer Glen Hansard compliments some light plucking on the guitar and atmospheric swirls in the background until the vocals give way for some electronica loops. It doesn't sound all that bad, but it just doesn't fit. It's like two separate songs were glued together, and that's the result. The mood initially set down is just not complimented by it. Unfortunate, really, because this is a band that seems to be all about setting a mood.

In addition to the sounds laid down by the guitar, bass, and drums, fiddle player Colm MacConlomaire delicately lays down his string arrangements, and there's no point in the album where a song isn't enhanced by it. Whether the guitars are quiet and brooding, or delicate and slow, the inclusion of the fiddle really helps to bring out the emotion put forth. All of the musicians seem to be in tune with each other, and are able to bring out the best in each other, yet I can't help but think it does grow boring after some time. The vocals can tend to drone at times, but it's nothing too major.

The album's best moment comes on the last song "Locusts." It's a beautiful song with near-spoken vocals and solid lyrical content; "Now you're giving up the ghost / To the one who meant the most / And one day when she least expects she'll know / And the words you never spoke / And the tune you never wrote / Won't write itself or wait for evermore." The guitar is done acoustically here, and again the fiddle provides some good background, and makes the song all that much better. But this brings out one of the complaints that I do have about the album, is that it took too long to get to that point. Again, it's not terrible in any stretch of the imagination; there's just some filler on this album that they just could have done without. It's just too long for the type of album.

The album clocks in at just under an hour, but it feels like there's quite a bit that's just not necessary. There's a great range to the songs, whether it be mellow or the, at times, more up-tempo side. The vocals are solid, and so are the backing instruments, and I love the way the fiddle is implemented, but they could have cut a few songs off. That, in addition to the electronic elements being added in, bring down the replay value. I'd still recommend you give this a listen, as it may be something you really enjoy, but for my money, stick with For The Birds.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 10, 2005)

Van Morrison.

Anonymous (February 10, 2005)

does this album sound punk at all? or just sort of light grungy irish influenced pop rock?
Also, Bono is a tosser. humanitarian philantropist my fecking arse. Shrewd business man who tea bags politicians and they like it. The guy has more money than they know what to do with. U2 suck, but for the love of god.....

THIN fucking LIZZY you idiots. Now that something great that came out of Ireland. (besides lucky charms and potatoes)

Anonymous (February 10, 2005)

worst review ever

Anonymous (February 10, 2005)

first of all there are many celebrities that make tons of money. few of them are as dedicated to causes as Bono is. you have no idea how much money he contributes so don't pretend you do. it could be 50,000 a year that he contributes. you don't know. he also does more than just donate money. he's taken active roles in politics, not that i can name anything off the top of my head.

Anonymous (February 10, 2005)

Eh, Salman Rushdie is friends with Bono.

Anchors (February 9, 2005)

That was me below, don't know why the hell I wasn't logged in.

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

He's done a lot because he's been given the means to. You think for a second that if Bono was working at some factory in Detroit he'd be giving a shit? No.

People that actually are in that situation, and contribute out of the meager salaries they make are the real heroes. But does anybody hear about Joe Blow who gave $1500 out of his $30,000 a year salary? No, never. But Bono contributes $10,000 out of the 20 million he makes per year, and he acts like he's the reason the word philanthropy exists. Get off it, man. He's not doing things for the right reasons.

If Bono was to be put in the situation of a common man, he wouldn't give a damn, let alone a dime. As I said before, fuck him.

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

Bono may be a bit arrogant, but at the same time he's done a lot more for this world than a dozen average men will do in their lifetime. Granted, he has the opportunity which thus should not belittle anyone else, but at least he's doing something with it. I respect the guy, and you should all be glad he exists if you like little African boys with chubby stomachs due to excess liquid preservation.

matt81 (February 9, 2005)

if you're lookin for a great band from ireland, i'd suggest Kila. great irish music with a lot of world influences.....if that makes any sense at all. regardless, go listen to Luna Park. it's wonderful. i'd also suggest clann zu, but i wouldn't necessarily say that they're from ireland.

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

You may dislike U2,

but I think you are really overlooking Bono's help to the AIDS crisis in Africa.

It's not something to be belittled.

/haven't heard enough of U2 to form an opinion on the band

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

Review sucks, but I agree about the U2 thing. Bono just kind of has that jackass look, and...THE EDGE. Doesn't he spell his name with all caps? What a fucking idiot. U2 = Just a bunch of boring honkey music.

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

I L♥VE TO HAVE FUN& PRTY!! {{-Of TheSCH
--->ne grass in my teeth??ha kyle =D
(P.S thts NT m eal age;)
EvErY gUrL lOvEs 2ShOp!
I made u my priority, u made me ur option:(
#$%&Curly Haired Cuite&%$#

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

who cares what he calls himself, he's a great guitarist.

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

"i really cant see how anyone can hate U2 if they were to listen to "boy" "october" and "war". those 3 records are great."

One member of the band calls himself "THE EDGE"

case closed.

-duped

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

i really cant see how anyone can hate U2 if they were to listen to "boy" "october" and "war". those 3 records are great.

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

i'll be honest here, i hate breakfast cereal.

So you can imagine why I'm a little skeptical eating an omelette.

-duped

AHAHAHAHA

-!GreenVandal!

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

Ahh......I'll stick with the A-Frames.

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

terrible introduction

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

i'll be honest here, i hate breakfast cereal.

So you can imagine why I'm a little skeptical eating an omelette.

-duped

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

jones the bones

i will make no comments on how stupid your name is

or how you say stuypid shit

but you fucking post way too much

go do something else

-the other scott

stevejonestherealbones (February 8, 2005)

fuck you yu fuckin bono wannabee

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

adam (February 8, 2005)

Ahh ok, no big deal. It's just sort of random :)

-adam

Anchors (February 8, 2005)

There's no correlation other than the fact that U2 is the only band from Ireland I could think of, so it made me a bit skeptical
as to how this was going to be.

Yeah, not a good opening line. My bad on this one.

adam (February 8, 2005)

Does U2 have anything to do with this release other than the fact that they're from Ireland as well? Your opening sort of confuses me there.

-adam

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