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Turning The Mind

6 customer reviews

Price: £7.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£7.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Sept. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B002JIOO80
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,288 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Turning The Mind
2. I Dream Of Crystal
3. Let Go Of The Fear
4. Valium In The Sunshine
5. Papercuts
6. Love Will Come
7. Everything Is Shattering
8. Nothing
9. The Note (These Voices)
10. Chemeleon
11. Die Happy, Die Smiling
12. Without You

Product Description

Product Description

Recorded with Tim Holmes--of Death in Vegas fame--at the Contino Rooms in London, Turning the Mind is Maps’ second album, following 2007's Mercury Prize shortlisted debut We Can Create.

Talking about the album, Maps mastermind James Chapman explains; "Turning The Mind is essentially an album which explores themes related to the human mind and the way certain stimuli, particularly chemical, can affect the it in different ways. The tracks for this album never seemed to stop flowing from the day I began working on them, it is a true statement of Maps' music at this precise moment".

BBC Review

It is an oft-observed phenomena that people on drugs tend not to be half as interesting as they believe themselves to be. Thus it was quite the relief when James Chapman – aka Northampton-based electro-gazer Maps – recently confessed that he’d been off his gourd for most of the time he was recording and promoting debut album We Can Create.

It wasn’t a dull record – indeed, in the spiralling dream-pop of You Don’t Know Her Name it boasted one of 2007’s most purely exhilarating musical rushes – but Chapman’s reedy monotone and ditchwater lyrics were by far and away the least appealing part. Two years on and he’s been quite free in talking up successor Turning the Mind as a better, more personal album; one that ups the lyrical game as it charts his journey from narcotic confusion to lovely, lovely sobriety.

It is, unfortunately, a similarly well-observed phenomena is that the only thing more tedious than people on drugs is people who used to be on drugs talking about how they’re not on drugs anymore. While kicking the narcotics may not be actively to blame for the failings of Chapman’s second album, the fact is that the meatier subject matter hasn’t helped him as a performer, and has indeed diminished the sense of ebullient lift his best songs require.

Presumably the numbness of his delivery on single I Dream of Crystal is meant to simulate his emotional state during the height of his abuse, but really, a spot of actual emotion on lines like “and I will screw it up, I’m used to that” could have done the song wonders. Portentously declaimed spoken-word statements like “release is a cocaine fury” (on Let Go of the Fear) are not really the answer, either.

It’s a shame, because he’s still bashing out some fearsome pop songs – witness the liquid analogue cascade of Everything is Shattering and the glossily strutting lattices of Die Happy, Die Smiling. The problem is that he’s still yet to convince that he should be the one to sing them. --Andrzej Lukowski

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By keitmort on 9 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First heard on the sound track of Misfits, Maps is utterly brilliant. The whole album is outstanding from start to finish. Map's musical style is so rich and multilayered, I can listen to his stuff over and over again. You must buy this album and support this brilliant musician.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Mr Chapman makes some pretty noises on his new album
Turning The Mind. His musical cohorts have helped him
to realise and release the simple inner power of the
twelve fine tracks in this collection.

Dr Josey's splendid review has already highlighted its
elusive beauty. A fragile beauty born out of melancholy.

Even when the beats warm up, as in 'Let Go Of The Fear',
there is always a little energy held back.

This calculated sense of reserve imbues the project
with a shifting dream-like quality.
One suspects that Mr Chapman may well be familiar with
the narratives of Huxley, Micheaux and Leary. If not
then he is a kindred spirit beyond his knowing.

The 80's have also left their footprints in the
synth-saturated sound palette. It is a good synthesis.

Here and there I was reminded of that wonderful London
band Shriekback who flowered for a while in that decade.
'Valium In The Sunshine' and 'Papercuts' are powerful
evocations of that memory. Spare and atmospheric.

Dislocation. Disorientation. Dissociation.

Mr Chapman is, however, an experienced guide who
never quite lets go of our hand on this journey
through the darker spaces of his turbulent mind.
The maps are always written in a familiar language.

'Nothing' could almost be a pop song were it
not for the creepy whispered vocal performance.
(Actually, on reflection, it probably couldn't
but I love its bitter and twisted lyrics a lot !)

Final track 'Without You' delivers a stunningly
luminous and uplifting conclusion. A truly lovely song.

Don't put it on at a party but don't pass it by either.

Highly Recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Robert A. Josey VINE VOICE on 29 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It says above - a quote from James C - that this album is about 'the mind', and the effect that stimuli, mainly chemical, have on it. In this case - much for the worse.

'We Can Create' - the previous album - contains many beautiful hymns to 'chemical enhancement' - 'Liquid Sugar' for one. 'Turning The Mind' is the dark side, the come-down side, the 'darkest night of the soul', caught in a 'life(death)style' which is killing you.

Reading between the lines (sic) I think much of this album is somehow autobiographical. And I don't think the lyrics are unimaginative. I think they capture very clearly in their simplicity a terrible psychological state. Of emptiness, of self-loathing, of trying to find peace and direction and movement onwards/upwards. Desperately sad really.

'Turning The Mind' seems to be a term for 'going insane'. And there is that sense of ennui, of disassociation, of losing it, in all of the songs. It's a darker trip than previously, that's for sure.

The music therefore - to use clinical language - becomes an effective tool in outlining these themes/psychological descriptions... 'Everything Is Shattering' is like one of the best New Order songs you've never heard - 'born for nothing, to abyss/and nothing worth this wasted wish'.

Maybe I have got it all wrong, and have misunderstood the concepts? - but it's easy to see that this isn't just your typical 'shoegazing' set. I admire James Chapman for his great talent, his way of creating something intensely beautiful and immediate. But I think this is an album that isn't going to 'hit' you straight away.

I've been listening to it all day now and I can only say that there is much to value and love here. It is certainly deeply, heartbreakingly sad, shot through with a palpable sense of loss and regret; it is genuinely disturbing in places; and bloody powerful. Laughter in hell.
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