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Maps - Turning the Mind

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 24 / 10 / 2009

Maps - Turning the Mind
Label: Mute Records
Format: CD


Fantastic electro pop on second album from Mercury Prize nominee Maps, the project of Northampton-based musician James Chapman

Turning the Mind’ is the second album from Mercury prize nominees Maps, the project of Northampton-based musician James Chapman. ‘Turning the Mind’ is a big jump in direction for the band. It has more of an electro feel than their debut album, ‘We Can Create’, and, investigating the fragile state of the head and mind, opens with the title track. It starts off gently and fragilely, but half way through turns into an intelligent dance number, in the vein of a decent New Order track. ‘I Dream of Crystal’ was a download only single, and is a dance number with a lush sound. With its trippy electro sound, it is club music for indie fans. James likes the word “Fear” as he has used it a lot in his song titles, and ‘Let Go of the Fear’ is out and out dance number and as commercial as anything by Kylie. It instantly sounds like a remix, while James’ smoky vocal sounds like that of Anthony Reynolds of Jack hitting town on the best red wine. ‘Valium in the Sunshine’ has more of the sound that we associate with Maps. It has a smooth glaze to it and, gentle on the head, is a song to sway along to softly. ‘Papercuts’ is very gentle, with soft fragile keyboards which sound like a harpsichord, but half way through it speeds up and turns into another dance anthem. ‘Love Will Come’ is a dance based combination of Tubeway Army and the Pet Shop Boys. ‘Everything is Shattering’ is a brash pop number, while ‘Nothing’ has a hushed vocal and begins with a slow groove which soons warms up ‘The Note (These Voices)’ has the feel of Depeche Mode feel, but its vocals are more dreamy and well worth you rocking along to. ‘Chemeleon’ sounds like a more modern version of Tubeway Army’ and is very smooth and dance based. ‘Die happy, Die Smiling’ a is big beats-based number with happy vocals. It ends with Without You’ which is an another massive-sounding song and again has a big pop sound. A smashing album.

Track Listing:-
1 Turning the Mind
2 I Dream of Crystal
3 Let Go of the Fear
4 Valium in the Sunshine
5 Papercuts
6 Love Will Come
7 Everything Is Shattering
8 Nothing
9 The Note (These Voices)
10 Chemeleon
11 Die Happy, Die Smiling
12 Without You
13 From Here's to Bliss

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In our second interview with him, Anthony Strutt speaks to James Chapman from electrinic outfit and Mercy Prize nominee about his project's second album, 'Turning the Mind'
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