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The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.05 | 841 ratings

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fighting sleep
5 stars The Volta suddenly got a whole lot crazier. Every album this group puts out makes the previous seem weak and comprehensible (their debut made music in general seem weak and comprehensible). Frances the Mute is their prog rock stereotype album. A few songs (ranging from short to long) leading up to a monster finale.

There are a few reasons why I think this is the Volta's best album. And those reasons are:

Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus: This song tightropes between frantic guitar improvisation and soaring melodic arrangements. Add in some indecipherable lyrics caterwauled by the great Bixler-Zavala, and by golly, you've got yourself a great album opener.

The Widow: One of my favorite sing-along songs. Not joking. I always try to sing along with this guy, but sometimes the lyrics are too incomprehensible and complicated. This song though, I can hear clearly enough to sing along with. Behind Cedric's pipes are everything from horn arrangements to organ and guitar solos. It ends on a creepy psychedelic note.

L'Via L'Viaquez: My favorite song on the album. The short bursts of guitar solo that recur throughout the song are some of the best the Volta team have to offer. But nothing's better after a hard rocking Volta tune than some latin jazz piano, which this song has plenty of. A top-notch eclectic track.

Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore: Four minutes of creepy psychedelic build up, and then a haunting lyrical masterpiece begins. This song seems mostly to be the build up to the albums finale...

Cassandra Gemini: It's difficult to describe this song: complex, frantic, dark, brilliant. Thirty six minutes of the Mars Volta showing us just what it can do. Cedric brings us his best dark-poetic lyrics, and Rodriguez-Lopez spares no effort. From blazing solos and arrangements to spine tingling psychedelic improvisations...Cassandra rates high with some of the greatest modern prog masterpieces (as well as with some of the classics).

Although many will agree that Deloused is a better introductory album to the band, it remains true for me that their greatest masterpiece is Frances the Mute.

fighting sleep | 5/5 |


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