Frances The Mute review by The Mars Volta

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  • Released: Mar 1, 2005
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (151 votes)
The Mars Volta: Frances The Mute

Sound — 10
When I put this CD in the first time I was blown away. The intro with Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus is great. And the way the cd flows is the way it should be. The story is about a person searching for his birth mother, she is known as Frances The Mute. The style was something I had never heard before. This CD was recorded as all the parts separatley. So it made the people seem that the whole song was on this persons shoulders. Great stuff.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics in all the mars volta stuff is weird. This is no different. The lyrics help propel the story but the lyrics are so random that it sounds so strange. Cedric does a great job singing on this album.

Overall Impression — 10
01. Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus - the song is great it starts out with acoustics that you can barely hear. Then Cedric starts singing about the person he's searching for. Then the song just explodes and goes into absolute craziness. It goes on with tempo and style changes that defy categorization. then ends with what sounds like people in a house shoutin about somethin and traffic can be heard in the backround. 02. The Widow - the shortest song on the ablum at 5:50 but its nothing short of awesome. The song starts out with cedric for a second then the acoustics and clean guitar in the backround. The action starts rising. Then the chorus comes in with a great guitar part and lyrics that hit hard "I'll never sleep alone". The song goes on to talk about the sad widow and the encounter the person in the story. Great when it gets to the solo. With Cedric saying "Swollen on the shore to rollin on the shore" (I think). Then it reverts to the chorus but at the end it is just random keyboard noises, then it does a segue into L'Via L'Viaquez. 03. L'via L'viaquez - it starts out with the noises from the widow. But after about 30 sec. the song (once again) explodes. into a spanish speaking verse. It talks of L'Via being the daughter of Miranda.Then after repeating the verse it slows down and the english starts flowing, telling tales of how she was blackmailed and how he wont forget who he's looking for. The sound in this part is great as it slows down and makes use of latin intstruments with the piano and everything. This part, as it repeats in the song, has a vocorder that uses more and more effects on Cedric's voice as it goes along. Then it ends as a segue to Miranda. 04. Miranda, That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore - the only reason I gave this 9 is because there isnt that much song to it. It starts off with crickets and creepy sounds. Then as it gets farther into the song it starts sounding like ghosts are comin out of your speakers. As it goes on it comes to a part where the trumpet starts blaring. Then the song takes off with that fabulous guitar part. Cedric then starts spinning the tale of the encounter with the forgotten Miranda, mother of L'Via. The chorus is great with the pure emotion put into it. Then it gets to the peak of the action as all the parts just explode in what I consider one of the best part in a song ever. All the instruments come together and just flow with one another. But after this the song returns to how it was in the beginning. After which it goes into the epic Cassandra Gemini. 05. Cassandra Gemini - if anyone has ever listened to this song all the song all the way through then you would know how awesome this song is. It starts with a great guitar part and another explosion of music. The song keeps progressing with not many vocals but many many tempo changes. Then at the end of the song it reverts to the start with the same part as in the beginning. This song is great. It has a very smooth feeling to it. It all flows even though it changes from a jazz type thing to hard rock in a matter of moments. This is a great album lost stolen, either way I'm buying it again. This is a great album.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i wouldnt call TMV post hardcore, unless youre trying to relate their music back to At The Drive-In. The only song i can think of like this is maybe Roulette Dares off De-Loused. And Im not sure you can call the tracks on Frances "tighter" than those of De-Loused, as Frances is a sit through album, leading in and out of songs and comprised more of colours and feelings through music than actual verses and rythyms. Thats your opinion i guess, but Frances was actually meant to be vague and self-drawn. Good article, at least you did some research unlike other articles.
    de-loused was an awesome album...i am definitely gonna pick this bad boy up.
    Seen em four times and was there when they played L'Via for the first time live. Also went to the Wiltern show that the b side to Frances the Mute (single) was recorded at. In regards to seeing them live 4 times, I gotta say I prefer they way they played right after the release of Deloused. When I saw em after Frances came out, their energy onstage kinda faded compared to the tour they did after Deloused.
    Frances the mute is amazing, but mars volta are truly a live band. i some them open for system, and im sorry to say that 45 minutes of volta kicked way more ass than 130 of system. I cant wait im going to see 'em with the chili peppers on sept 28 or something, that will be 1 kick ass show!
    word. i've seen tmv twice, once by themselves and then with soad. they are better than soad live by far but you haven't really seen tmv until you see them headline (and usually that measn they play with no support). they are above and beyond any other band i've seen live, and i've seen a lot. i'm seeing em with the peppers too and that will be so bad-ass- i'm guessing flea will come out and play some trumpet and frusciante will play some solos during tmv's set. also omar did a solo on stadium arcadium and has appeared on frusciante's solo discs so i'm sure he'll come out during the peppers set, too. that's gonna be such a great tour.
    AssortedLunatic wrote: i like the whole premise of their music, but i don't like their vocals at all.
    just to clarify, i DEFINITELY was not saying word about cedric's vocals. he is amazing, and it's just like the first reviewer said up there, you have to get used to them but then you realize how incredible they are.
    anyone who thinks its post hardcore must be a poser lol
    a poser huh its not "post hardcore" your right but still, i hope you were being funny. One of the best cds i own. Cassandra Gemini is the best song theyve written yet.
    I think they meant that Zavala and Lopez's former band At The Drive-In was post hardcore. You know, because they were?
    ftm is an awesome album. umbillical syllables lyrics are what strike me the most. does anyone know why sarcophagi at the end? is for it to be like the conclusion or like the finding of his birth mother?
    wow. there's no hate comment in this review. heard of this bands name a lot of times. got a lot of good comments from artist too. i better check em out!
    Ænimus Prime
    I bought this album after hearing great things about The Mars Volta but I find the music to be very messy, as if each member is playing an entirely different song. I am dissapointed and want my money back.