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Customer Review

on 24 December 2004
The Frames are one of Ireland's finest bands. Their previous release, For The Birds, was laid-back, folksy, moving and one of my favourite albums. On Burn The Maps, they show real progression, mixing the melodical sounds of For The Birds with distorted guitars (Fake, Finally), at times amazing drum work (Dream Awake) from fomer Therapy? drummer Graeme Hopkins, and some fabulous violin music (Happy, Keepsake).
The album opens with Happy, a solid song which, in true Frames style, reaches its peak at the very end. Finally is a bouncy rock song, and Dream Awake is a two-part masterpiece, starting off slow and pensieve, before bursting into a fantastic crescendo of soaring violin and stuttered drum beats. The next two trcks are less energetic. A Caution to the Birds is slow and mournful, but at the same time very beautiful, while Trying is a disappointing little ditty, which would have best been left off the album.
Then comes their first real pop song, Fake, catchy and loud, and quite quite good. Sideways Down is another pop song, though not quite as accessible. Undergalss is another rocker,a more grown-up Pavement Tune. Ship Caught In the Bay is another weak track, as Glen Hansard whispers his lyrics over some bizarre percussion. The highlight of the album is Keepsake, a tight, quiet song at first, which bursts into a huge release of distorted guitar and low pitched growling about insects. Colm mac con Iomaire compliments this wonderfully with possibly his best piece of work yet, his violin switching between two wonderful melodies. This track is played with the same intensity and energy as a live performance. The record then calms and slows down, with the Coldplay-esque Suffer In Silence, and the beautiful Locusts.
All in all, when this is released internationally in February, it might just be the album that finally puts The Frames on the map outside of Ireland.
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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