Sound — 4
On De-Loused In The Comatorium, The Mars Volta demonstrated that they are an force to be reckoned with its hook laced songs, amazing guitar parts, and unique style, it's defintly one of my favourite albums. But, Unlike Comatorium, Frances The Mute is a nearly complete and udder mess. Little to no musicianship is shown during the excrutiatingly long improvisational solo's, and the sound effects, which take up a quarter of the album, could easily be duplicated at home on your computer.
Lyrics — 4
The lyrics are, plain and simple, bil-lingual gibberish. Their supposed to be. Bixler uses his high pitched howl as an instrument. But this is supposedly a "concept album." If you do a concept album, at least make it clear what the concept is! The plot is about a man who tries to track down his long lost parents. And, somehow, a male prostitute from an old noir plays into it. Hmm.
Overall Impression — 4
This album is a dissapointing, pretentious peice of trash. The only good song is the 30 minute improv peice, and it's hard to enjoy a 30 minute song. Some of you may call me close minded, but its quite the opposite, most who like the album like it simply because its a big fancy concept album with big fancy effects and is by the art rock band at the moment. Buy De-Loused instead.