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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.05 | 841 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Frances the Mute. Heh. Very good effort by The Mars Volta, very good, but not their best, no way. Basically you get 60 minutes of music and 16 minutes of fluff, pure fluff. Example below:

1. Cygnus....Vismund Cygnus (4 minutes of a man seemingly raping a woman and then it goes into car driving by.)

2. The Widow (3 minutes of pointless, rhythmless, beatless noise.)

3. L' Via L' Viaquez (manages not to have ambiance)

4. Miranda, That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore (4 minutes of crickets and soft whimpering.)

5. Cassandra Gemini (Some spots are way too quiet, especially Cassandra Gemini V, 5 full minutes.)

Another thing that doesn't suit me well with this record is how easy it is to label the songs. Cygnus is funk, Widow is blues, L' Via is Spanish rock, Miranda is a fusion rock, Cassandra is fusion rock. The only real experimental point of FTM is the sometimes-boring ambiance. I know it is meant to keep an atmosphere to each song, but you could easily shorten the ambiance to 30 seconds, not 4-5 of ambiance.

Drums are good, but subpar to De-Loused and their newest release, Amputechture. The drums are also incredily quiet on FTM, which is a bit bothersome considering how talented Jon Theodore is. Omar plays a bit sloppy, especially on songs like Cassandra Gemini II, where solos can be found everywhere which makes the solos that less noticable. Bass is ace though, very very very good. So is Cedric's voice, as it always is. The horns are a good enhancement to the music but often, they seem unnatural to the song in its aspects. John Frusciante is only featured on one song throughout the whole album, 2 solos in L' Via L' Viaquez, and those two are a bit, I don't know, not good compared to what he did on De- Losued, like the guitar battle on Cicitriz ESP.

TMV, they're able to make music that is impossible to label, as shown on Amputechture and on De-Loused, but on FTM, the songs seem dumbed down mainly because you have 4 genres shown and nothing ever really goes crazy, something you'd expect from a band like TMV.

The music is good but easily labeled and too much nothingness. Good news though, their next release, Amputechture, is probably their best release ever, arguably better than De- Loused. So don't worry, TMV isn't going down-hill...

mecca | 3/5 |


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