Frances The Mute review by The Mars Volta

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  • Released: Mar 1, 2005
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (151 votes)
The Mars Volta: Frances The Mute
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Sound — 10
"Frances The Mute" has a much more mature sound from The Mars Volta. This is a mix of free jazz, prog rock and latin. Unlike De-Loused in the Comatorium, this softmore album has much more mainstream style songs with not mainstream lengths. The albums first (and probably only) single "The Widow" is about five minutes long, including the album exclusive outro. All the other songs are around 13 minutes with the exception of "Cassandra Gemini" that is a whopping 32: 32 minutes long. What is missing in the sound of Frances the Mute is the strange, yet familliar riffs of De-Loused. Individual Song Sound Ratings: 01. Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus - the most "De-Loused-ish" sound on the CD with the music. Driving chords and catchy riffs. Reminds me vaugely of Cicatriz ESP. I give it a 5/5. 02. The Widow - very weird guitar with a chord filled chorus, scary music video. 5/5. 03. L'via L'viaquez - a mixture of everything, latin sound with chords and those Mars Volta solos we just love. Turns Santanish in the middle of the song. 5/5. 04. Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore - very Little lyrics, mostly just distorted noise and chirping birds. My least favorite song on the album. 5/5. 05. Cassandra Gemini - everything summed into one big, amazing song! Even though it takes as long as one episode of South Park to listen to. 5/5. Overall it should be a 4.5 but theres no half numbers and I round up.

Lyrics — 8
Cedric sounds more mature, much more mature. I like his voice, droning, sharp, scary at times. This is heard especially in the Widow. The lyrics always fit the music. But they are just weird stuff, sometimes pointless, strange, especially in the last track. Distortion effects are applied to Cedrics voice, but then they are followed by the best singing on the album in Cassandra Gemini. Even though a lot of the lyrics are in spanish, it doesn't matter, because the music makes up for it. The lyrics in this album have no comparison to ones in De-Loused, but that doesn't make them bad at all.

Overall Impression — 8
My overall impression of this album is that it is different than the Mars Volta's first two albums. It just doesn't have the epic feeling you had when you popped De-Loused into the CD player. It is very hard to expain, but when you listen to Frances after De-Loused, you can tell the difference. Its strange. Frances is still good, just not as consistent as De-Loused. Also, the amazingly long tracks take time to listen to, but have great replayability.

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