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Album Review

Awash in sparkling synth sounds, the Frank & Walters' Glass is a glorious, mature release, seeing the band at its peak. Mixing the electronic-doused sampling of Beauty Becomes More Than Life with the stunning, emotional pop of Grand Parade, this most criminally underrated, ignored band has finally created an album that's as subtle as it is accessible. Particular treats are the New Order-inspired musicianship of "Isn't It Time" and "Talking About You," with the latter track suggesting the post-Joy Division icy textures of Movement. "New York" uses a sample from Ennio Morricone's soundtrack for Once Upon a Time in the West to wonderful effect, to signify the joys that New York presents to new visitors. "I Will Be King" echoes David Bowie's "Heroes" thematically and musically, sounding like a Boards of Canada song with vocals. The overall feel of Glass is that the band has stripped down its sound to its purest, most successful elements, eliminating the noisy clutter apparent on earlier releases. The new sound of the band, heavy on keyboards and other electronics, hints at, rather than shouts about, the pathos of previous albums. The result is an album that is far more listenable; it's perhaps the first Frank & Walters album that can work as background music. Previous albums were far more bombastic, if not overbearing at times, and they had a tendency to sound muddled and chaotic if a listener wasn't paying attention to the lyrics. "Ancestors" is an example of the newfound maturity; it operates at a lilting, pretty gait via electronic percussion and sweet keyboards, before eventually reaching emotional epiphanies. Past albums would have seen more gut-wrenching vocals, pounding drums, and crunching guitars toward the same goal. Glass presents fantastic pop joys, fostered with maturity, showcasing an immensely talented band mastering its own sound and genre.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Frank and Walters are a pop/rock trio hailing from Cork City, in Ireland. They rose to prominence in the early '90s, achieving chart success as part of a movement of young, upbeat guitar pop bands that also included the likes of the Inspiral Carpets (with whom they toured extensively)...
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Glass, The Frank and Walters
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