Frances The Mute review by The Mars Volta

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  • Released: Mar 1, 2005
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.5 (151 votes)
The Mars Volta: Frances The Mute
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Sound — 10
Okay, for those of you that don't know The Mars Volta, is the follow-up band of the critically acclaimed indie band, At The Drive-In, (my favorite band of all time). The singer (Cedric Bixlar-Zavala) and guitarist (Omar Roedriguez-Lopez) are both from ATD-I. The band released a EP following the creation of this band, (Tremulant) shortly after, they released their epic and pure brilliant LP, De-loused in the Comatorium. After 2 years of touring and recording they're finally back with their release of Frances the Mute, and it is also described as a concept album, by Cedric. The sound on this album is, I'd say alot less digitized musically, but there is about 8 minutes of just ambient noise throughout this CD, so that can get irritating when waiting for the next track. This album follows the story of Vismund Cygnus, trying desperatly to find and what happened to his parents, although there are various theorys on the net, this seems the most consistant. Unlike the last album, this is a full on prog-rock journey. It features three 14 minute songs, and the last song was split into 7 different tracks, it was origanally 32 minutes long. It is brilliant solo to hard hitting chorus straight into solo into chorus, it basically never stops unless you hit an icky ambient spot, and there are a few. Omar knows exactly when to play and when not to play, but I think that one thing that diminishes this album's brilliance are the few solos done by John Frushante. (sp? )Great guitarist, he is just very out of place on a few of the songs. Although, Flea(RHCP) plays trumpet on a few of the tracks and does an execellent job doing so.

Lyrics — 10
If I could rate cedric's lyrics any higher I would, his is a lyrical genius, I honestly think no-one in this generation is comparably close to him, in anyway possible. The lyrics are incredibly descriptive, incredibly abstract, and just plain incredible. Not to mention that he is one of the sweetest singers in the past 10 years. Ever since ATD-I was brought out to the public he has had an amazing vocal range, from raspy, to disturbingly high. Amazing lyrics, with an amazing singer.

Overall Impression — 10
This is their best musical album to date, no doubt about it, it is an album that you can listen the entire way through, because it is like one giant song that meshes into each other, everything just clicks so nicely, that it is above me. Each one of these tracks are amazing, but the one that holds has the most grasp on my heart is either: Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore or Cassandra Geminni. These two tracks are around 43 minutes of music, just two tracks. Miranda is just brilliantly beautiful and Cassandra is just so amazing, it goes so quite near the end and then hits you with the best part, the last minute and a half, showcase, the little glisp of At The Drive-In. Although, their single "The Widow" is the worst track on the album, but it is by no means bad, it is just not as good in comparision to the others. I don't have to worry about this being stolen, I've already got two copies, so yeah. This is not only worth the buy, once you've bought this album you'll either be a life time fan, or you'll hate it, there is no inbetween. Although, I suggest buying their first one, it is alittle easier to get into. Overall, this is a brilliant album, the best of 2005 so far, and I don't see many that has a possibility of topping it.

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