An Irish rock-band with a knack for sweeping crescendos and soaring melodies as well as an earnest sense of self-importance, it's inevitable that the Frames be often compared to their compatriots in U2. The comparison is apt, but frontman Glen Hansard doesn't have a Bono-style superhuman rock voice; he has the voice of a normal person and he knows it. The tension between the intimate scale of his voice and the epic tendencies of the band make Burn the Maps an intriguing record, with moments of high drama — the hook of "Finally," for example, is as big as all the world, and Hansard's palpable straining to make it so increases its punch. But not all is stadium-sized bombast and melody-on-sleeve romanticism with the Frames: just as often, they sound like the broken-voiced, angst-ridden progeny of Radiohead, still just as full of drama and fireworks, but all turned inward, an internal combustion of despair. It works best when the band's two impulses are mingled in one song, as on album opener "Happy": a tense, paranoid bar-of-six verse, a thicket of misplaced accents and nervous energy broken open by an expansive, glorious chorus.
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Headed to Tennessee but still not sure who you want to see? Fear not: We've boiled the brain-busting Bonnaroo schedule down to 20 essential sets.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.10.12 in Lists
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By Sam Adams on 06.19.12 in Reviews
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By Tizzy Asher on 04.22.11 in Reviews
When you're in love, finding songs to suit your mood comes easily — you can't go very far into popular music of any genre without coming across a love song. Songs for the process of falling in love, however...