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Frances the Mute [CD]

The Mars Volta Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frances the Mute + Deloused in the Comatorium + Amputechture
Price For All Three: 19.17

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Feb 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B0007GAEW6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,943 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus
2. A. Sarcophagi
3. B. Umbilical Syllables
4. C. Facilia Descenus Averni
5. D. Con Safo
6. The Widow
7. L'Via L'Viaquez
8. Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore
9. A. Tathata Sunyata
10. B. Pour Another Icepick
11. C. Pisacis (Phra-men-ma)
12. D. Con Safo
13. Cassandra Gemini
14. A. Tarantism
15. B. Plant A Nail In the Navel Stream
16. C. Faminepulse
17. D. Multiple Spouse Wounds
18. E. Sarcophagi

Product Description

Given that Mars Volta's Omar Rodriquez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala are ideologues; Afro-haired chin scratchers who believe that Seventies progressive-rock music was alright really but too 'white' and quite possibly a little bit too sheepish for its own good, Frances The Mute--the band's second album--is possibly the absolute wired-to-the-mains apex of indulgent immodesty. Of course, this diamond-encrusted symphonic psych extravaganza of time-signature changes, wild post-Miles Davis electric jazz, writhing punk passion and re-heated Rush has a concept ( albeit one best approached with a knowledge of social science, Latin and a medical dictionary) and a sleeve designed by Pink Floyd associate Storm Thorgerson. However, while there are obvious ancestral salutes to Relayer-era Yes and all tinctures of Pink Floyd, Frances The Mute is restlessly forward-thinking, a thrilling continuation of Mars Volta's multi-cultural prog modernism where a track like "L'Via L'Viaquez" (with guest appearances from the Chili Pepper's Flea and John Frusciante) comes across like something resembling nothing less than a Cuban King Crimson. --Kevin Maidment

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing else like it. 15 Aug 2005
Format:Audio CD
I really loved The Mars Volta's previous album, De-loused in the Comatorium and I was rather uncertain when I first heard this. It certainly wasn't as easy to get into than their first one but after you've had the patience to listen to it a few times it all starts to make sense.
On this album they've incorporated a lot more instruments and styles to the music and at the same time gone even more crazy in how they use them. Generally this works really well and the use of Spainish lyrics (at least I think it's Spainish) sounds really good, and it's not like their lyrics made any sense anyway... The track listing is as crazy as the music and you get the sense that they added in breaks between tracks on the CD just as a courtesy.
My main complaint would be that sometimes they go a bit too far and venture into the realm of randomness. Four minutes of the same piece of birdsong played over and over again can become tedious very quickly so I just skip past it.
All in all it's a really great album and something completely different. It's worth getting just for the last track alone. It's not for everyone though, I could understand how some people could hate this. If you haven't listened to the Mars Volta before I would recomend their first album over this as it's a lot easier to get into.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One step furthur into prog-world ... 10 April 2005
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
'Frances the Mute' is The Mars Volta's next step into their bizarre land of hardcore techno progressive rock. Their previous efforts have both been mind blowing, using out of the blue tempo changes, huge ranges of instruments and most importantly the ever ingenious pairing of minds that is Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar A Rodriguez Lopez. Like 'De-loused in the Comatorium', 'Frances' is effectively a long heroine fuelled story on the other side of consciousness, but this time round it's more of an experience when listened to from to start to finish. It only actually consists of five songs, despite my CD player telling me twelve and the track listing telling me something like fifteen. Further confusion is caused by the song 'Frances the Mute''s lyrics appearing inside the CD case, despite there being no such song on the album.
The lyrics are based on a anonymous diary stumbled upon, telling of an abandoned child searching for his parents, but apart from little hints like "I won't forget who I'm looking for" you would never guess so. Since their early days in their former band 'At the Drive-in' Bixler Zavala and Rodriguez Lopez have taunted with words so deep and cryptic that I doubt even they know what they're talking about. This becomes most evident on 'L'Via L'Viaquez' where the verses are sung in what I presume is Spanish; perhaps Latin; perhaps neither. Nonsensical as the words are, make no mistake, they still have a profound effect when sung as emotionally as Bixler Zavala. He pours his heart and soul into the bounding vocal melodies; if this tells the story of a tragedy then it is still unwaveringly upbeat and uplifting, thanks in no small part to the blaring riffs and intricate solos from guitarist Rodriguez Lopez.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FRANCES THE MUTE 3 May 2009
Format:Audio CD
I bought this album the year it came out, after having watched The Mars Volta and being completely blown away by their mesmerising and powerful live show. Many of the reviews here seem to assosciate The Mars Volta with Pink Floyd, Zeppelin etc but I find these comparisons not very useful in trying to get across a sense of The Mars Volta. In my opinion, such an enigmatic, and yet at the same time dramatic, band, do not really fully reward the listener who looks to drop the sound into musical categories. Listening to the Mars Volta's Frances The Mute, you might find their organic sound and some high pitched singing to be slightly alike a Zeppelin sound, but settle into it and, for example, listen to the weird structures of sound, the way the sounds are arranged around eachother, the way sounds and instruments emerge out of eachother, and you will begin to realise that this is a totally different experience, and that The Mars Volta are too amorphous (in the space of a song, let alone the album) to be pinned down. Might it help you to understand the album by me telling you that each time I give it a listen, I get totally different impressions from it?
This is a beautiful and powerful album,yet perhaps challenging if one doesn't have the time and stamina-of-attention-span to appreciate such a dense piece of work.

So, after this introduction about the difficulty of describing such an experimental and shifting album, I'll give some simpler impressions of the music:
Some simpler suggestions: You might note that without Rick Rubin, Mars Volta have a 'rawer' and much more organic and loose approach, it feels like they are stretching out more and have been unconstrained- allowing themselves to express their freeform compositions with characteristic energy and intensities.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a whole new board game 17 May 2005
Format:Audio CD
The Mars Volta then. What actually are they? Frances the Mute characterises the genre hopping style that surrounds the band and the two musical enigmas at its heart- Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez. It is weird, to say the least, downright odd, if we are going to be honest, and it transcends pretty much every genre you could ever attempt to stick onto it. Most certianly what it is not is deloused pt II, a shame in some ways, but in others a relief. To compare the Mars Volta with my other favourite band, Queens of the Stone Age, progression is the key. Each time the Queens release an album, there is disappointment that it is not like their last one, something which should never ever have even been expected.
So the actual album. Well it is weird, but amazingly interesting. The flashes of punk which filled the 1st long player are still there, but there is overall a much greater sense of experimentation. The first track explodes with a swirling guitar that ATD-I would've been proud of, as fugazi style drum riffs punctuate the stop start dynamics. This is almost mars volta by numbers, until Rodriguez (who produced much of the album) slurs the riff into dreamy ambience. When the Mars Volta really shine is when they are at their weirdest, their most unexpected. L'Via Viaquez is perhaps the best track on the album, as a wailing guitar is set over precise salsa tempo drums and bass. The musicianship is breathtaking, the dynamics awe inspiring and the timing exquisite to say the least. My personal favourite track is the breathtakingly haunting Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore, flea's trumpet melding beautifully with the pained vocals of Bixler.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars onlyme
The record company that I bought this from have given very good service but I picked a right lemon with this one I must have meant to select the one next to it or something , I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by a guy
1.0 out of 5 stars Clearly way below their potential and needlessly confusing
This is the first TMV album I heard as I came across it in a library and I was familiar with the name and wanted to give it a spin to satisfy my curiosity. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Derek Vinard
1.0 out of 5 stars One word..Rubbish follow up to Epic 'Deloused'..
I really like 'Deloused in the Comantorium', so why didnt I like there critically acclaimed follow up? Read more
Published 18 months ago by Gabriel Hill Harriss
5.0 out of 5 stars Like no other CD I own.
Well, with how diverse, complex and intriguing this album is, it's a little difficult to quite put into words what listening to it is like. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Naomi
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as their other stuff
This is not as good as the albums before or after and nothing after track 4 is worth even wasting your time listening to
Published on 25 Feb 2011 by Conaldo
5.0 out of 5 stars Frances The Mute
Can't tell you how glad I am I've just ordered this on vinyl, the format it should be heard on. This is the best album ever written by anyone without a shadow of a doubt, no review... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2010 by Finton O'Malley
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique art-pomp sonic experience
'Francis The Mute' (2005) is an incredibly unique 'art-pomp' sonic experience. The 'songs' on the album essentially consist of deconstructed genres that are at the same time... Read more
Published on 10 Sep 2010 by Daniel Margrain
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive stuff
Frances The Mute, the second studio album by The Mars Volta is one of the most interesting and creative albums ever released. Read more
Published on 18 April 2010 by Gentlegiantprog
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer Bedlam in Goliath
This album has a good couple of tracks on it, however if you know anything about mars volta you'll know they are abstract and a bit 'out there'. Read more
Published on 15 Dec 2009 by D. Clarke
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult album that doesn't satisfy
I bought Frances The Mute when released for three reasons.

1. I like prog (or at least I think I do).
2. It had a great album cover.
3. Read more
Published on 20 Aug 2009 by BS on parade
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