Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Frames – The Cost

The Frames – The Cost

The Cost, which happens to be the new album by the Irish band The Frames is absolutely my new favorite album of 2007 so far. That should be enough for you to run right out to iTunes and download a copy, but if my word isn’t quite enough, I can give you one more simple reason…The Cost is so worth buying just to hear its nearly perfect second song, Falling Slowly.

Falling Slowly is rich and delicate, subtle and yet all encompassing. It has a chorus that pulls you in melodically and then you actually hear the words and are all the more captured. It begins simply enough, with just a voice and guitar, but then builds into a piece of music that swirls around the space between your ears until you think you might burst. Lyrically and musically, Falling Slowly gives you the idea of hope and yet holds onto an undercurrent that makes you wonder if things ever do really work out. I really can’t say enough about this song, as if that’s not obvious, but I guess I’m just under its spell in the best possible way...and do you want to know the best part? There are nine other songs on the rest of the album.

As an album, The Cost delivers ten songs of mellow intensity with flawless execution and terrific musicianship. Guitarist and lead vocalist, Glen Hansard is spot on with his delivery, breathing life into The Cost while the other current band members, Joe Doyle on bass, Colm MacConIomaire on violin and keyboards and Rob Bochnik on lead guitar shape the sound of the album into it’s cohesive and complex whole.

One of the many notable things about The Cost is the inclusion of the violin into the mix of sound that is The Frames. As restrained as it is, it not only gives this band another color to paint with aurally but also the ability to not be pigeonholed into the format that rock traditionally is. It gives another dimension to what is already a multi-dimensional band and helps afford them the luxury of being something unto themselves and not just another in a long line of more of the same.

I guess that could be the reason it’s taken me so long to hear about The Frames. Since 1995 they’ve released eight albums, including The Cost and if it weren’t for World Café on NPR this past Saturday night, I’d still be missing out…and that would definitely be my loss.

I wonder if that could be a reflection on the music industry and what passes for talent these days? I guess anythings possible, but that’s another story all together. Go buy this album and introduce yourself to The Frames.

1 comment:

Linda said...

see - 'spot on' really is living a resurgence. what a great review. I'll be on the lookout. Sort of like Firehouse, with a double shot of smooth dark whiskey and a loosening of the leather? or, really, not at all....