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For The Birds

The Frames

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Album Review

For the Birds opens with "In the Deep Shade," an understated instrumental that sets the mood for the rest of the album. Despite some relatively peppy numbers such as "Fighting on the Stairs," the wailing guitar sound on songs such as "Early Bird" and "Santa Maria," and the expectations some listeners may have for an album recorded with Craig Ward (dEUS) and Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, Rapeman), this is primarily a gentle, slow, and melancholic album. It features melodic, folk-influenced rock songs (somewhere in the general vicinity of Will Oldham and Nick Drake, for example) with clearly discernible instruments including mandolin, piano, violin, brushed drums, and softly strummed guitar, as well as vocals that manage to sound emotive even when they seem hushed. The band says in their liner notes that this was their first chance to record an album without having to "cater to people outside of the band"; consequently, For the Birds features less-commercial arrangements that allow the group to take a leisurely pace, use subtle dynamics and negative space, and gradually build emotional intensity over the course of a song instead of trying to hook listeners immediately. Of course, this is hardly the first band to try this type of approach, but Frames handle it gracefully.

Customer Reviews

Nothing better

This is an awesome album - so much soul it's hard to describe. Listen and keep listening. Close your eyes and let it wash over you.......

Excellent Album

Don't know why this album is not better known - it's amazing with songs that haunt you long after you've heard them.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Frames are led by Glen Hansard, a Dublin-based singer/songwriter who quit school at age 13 to begin busking on local streets. By 17, he'd borrowed enough money from his parents to record a demo, 50 copies of which were pressed and distributed to family and friends. One of those copies made its way to Island Records' Denny Cordell, who successfully lobbied label founder Chris Blackwell to sign Hansard to the roster. Now signed to a major label, Hansard founded the Frames, taking the name from...
Full bio
For The Birds, The Frames
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