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THE FRAMES The Cost (2006)

The Frames

If the new album by The Frames is any sort of benchmark, then 2007 could be one hell of a year.

The Cost is released on 8 January, preceded by the single Falling Slowly/No More I Love Yous and is something of a gem. And while The Frames sixth studio album may be on the short side - 10 tracks running out at 44 minutes, it is for the most part exquisitely and perfectly formed. Imagine if you will, the passion and intensity of Damien Rice combined with the power and grace of Keane or Coldplay in full flight.

Recorded in Black Box Studios in France in March and April 2007, the band have continued their ongoing relationship with David Odlum, but also recruited the help of Stephen Fitzmaurice who worked on the Dance the Devil album.

In a sense, the album is ’live’ and benefits enormously from it. The songs were rehearsed to within an inch of their lives, the recording parameters were set ’just so’, and then the band delivered a live set in the studio with no overdubs, additions or tweaks. The result is a wonderful mixture of intensity, texture and presence.

A big draw in their native Ireland, and having made significant waves elsewhere with their last offering - 2005’s Burn The Maps - an album which raised their profile considerably in Europe and the US, The Cost could well be the one that sees The Frames break into the mainstream.

Songs like Falling Slowly bear all the hallmarks of their past work. Song For Someone is a thing of beauty, while live favourite People Get Ready gets an extended workout of 5 minutes duration, and True features the atmospheric backing vocals of Czech musician Marketa Irglova.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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