Saturday, November 14, 2009

Maps: Turning the Mind (Mute)
release: October 20, 2009
style: celestial electronic pop
similar: M83, Project Skyward
[rating: ***] The follow up to the debut We Can Create, Maps' Turning the Mind makes the obligatory leap in production from bedroom recording to studio, with Tim Holmes of Death in Vegas turning the knobs. While it doesn't have the same breathtaking effect of Create, this is a calm album about "mental states" and has its moments of upliftingness. Brit James Chapman, who grew up listening to Blur and Suede, blankets dreamsicle synths beneath his soft-spoken vocals. In addition, "Let Go of the Fear" is a great modern dance track. Yet something is missing, as Mind travels along Chapman's own safe level of comfort. Mute signed him based on potential. Chapman can do better. -Kenyon


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