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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow What a Find
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.
Published 11 months ago by keitmort

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Valium in the sunshine and showers
Two years after releasing one of the finest debuts in history, James Chapman as Maps has followed We Can Create with a mixed bag. There is an awful lot of production, some unneeded, and in his efforts to produce dance classics seem too strained. Still, the album looked initially like it was going to be a shoegaze fest so at least we have a step in the right direction with...
Published on 2 Oct 2009 by Mr. T. Ainslie


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow What a Find, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Turning The Mind (Audio CD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Ordeals Of The Mind, 29 Sep 2009
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Turning The Mind (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
5.0 out of 5 stars broken heart, broken mind, 29 Sep 2009
By 
Dr. Robert A. Josey "mystery lover" (Scottish Highlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Turning The Mind (Audio CD)
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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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Valium in the sunshine and showers, 2 Oct 2009
By 
This review is from: Turning The Mind (Audio CD)
Two years after releasing one of the finest debuts in history, James Chapman as Maps has followed We Can Create with a mixed bag. There is an awful lot of production, some unneeded, and in his efforts to produce dance classics seem too strained. Still, the album looked initially like it was going to be a shoegaze fest so at least we have a step in the right direction with the final incarnation of Turning the Mind.

The album starts with opener of the same name, not a bad song but not really extraordinary, before plunging into 'I Dream of Crystal' - classic Maps and one of his best to date. After that we get a couple more melody driven songs such 'Valium in the Sunshine', another of my favourites, but mostly we have many more beats and electro-lite songs such as 'Let Go of the Fear'. The tracks seem to get progressively worse as the album wears on, 'Everything is Shattering' being shamelessly pop but still average, 'Love Will Come' is ok but not the classic i believe Chapman was aiming for with it and 80s synth parade 'Chemeleon' being neither hear nor there.

Ending much like the start in quality, 'Die Happy, Die Smiling' is another shamelessly upbeat tune that works and is a contender for track of the album, then Without you is fairly nondescript. By the end of the album i had hoped to have been on a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions. But i just ended up with a feeling that the album, whilst far from bad and definitely better than 95% of bands at the moment, lacked the intellect I was looking for. Still, the songs in isolation are decent if not as a whole. But anyone who hasn't heard Maps before and is interested should look to We Can Create for real quality.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars he could create, 30 Oct 2009
By 
C. P. Hayward - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Turning The Mind (Audio CD)
With previous releases "start something" and the stunning "we can create" Maps realy did create something original and fresh. With vivid sound scapes and thoughtfull lyrics.

I waited with trepidation to see if James Chapman's one man band could keep up this high standard on his latest release. I am sorry to say that he has fallen well short. Different hands in the production process have drawn a veil over the previously clean and sharp synth sounds, the drum programming once original has become routine dance beats. The lyrics also are depressing and weak, rather than uplifting.

It would have been better for him to take a bit longer to build up a body of work worthy of release and have the confiudence to trust his own skills at mixing the result, his largly self produced debut, "start something" showed us thet he is capable on his own in his bedsit of producing somthing wonderfull.

I still hope this talented young man will learn from this experience and go on to produce something worthwhile next time.

Meanwhile avoid this release and treasure " we can create"
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unexceptional, 28 Sep 2009
By 
Toby Staunton "dancing mole" (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Turning The Mind (Audio CD)
James Chapman has always been a bit of an enigma. Essentially his music is really good as proven by his first two album but it has never been translated into the success that maybe it should have been. Unfortunately `Turning the Mind' isn't going to do anything to improve the situation. It is almost painfully over produced with stunted and unimaginative lyrics. The atmosphere created on many tracks is nice but does nothing to really push the boundaries of what Chapman could do. The saving grace of the album is that Chapman does have some talent so it is not all appalling monotony. `Let Go of the Fear' has a strange spoken word section that adds a bit of menace, `Die Happy, Die Smiling' hits quite well with a punchy bass section and the church choir aspect of `Love Will Come' followed by a hazy fuzz is quite good. It is an average album without a true catch to it.
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Turning The Mind
Turning The Mind by Maps (Audio CD - 2009)
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