Saturday, May 3, 2008

my favorite albums, part 2

someone emailed me and asked me what frames album i'd recommend for a new fan. that's hard for me to answer; i have my favorites, of course, but other people may not agree. so i thought i'd do my own version of a guided tour through frames albums. not that i'm an expert or anything - far from it... but here we go:

another love song this is the first frames album, released in 1991 i believe. it's out of print now, although you can download it from various places online. it was recorded for island records (i think) and they subsequently left that label.
this is the dancer from a concert in dublin last new year's eve (an aside - i think i might try to go to dublin next year if they play on new year's eve. kristine, wanna come?:):

fitzcarraldo this is their second album, released in 1995. if you've seen once, you'll probably recognize say it to me now (although the album version is somewhat different from the one in the movie). there are some great songs on this record, but it's not one of the ones i listen to the most. interestingly, fitzcarraldo is a movie by werner herzog about a man who is obsessed with building an opera house in a remote town in peru and literally pulls a ship over a mountain. it's hard to describe this album, but i guess it's probably the most "rock" record the frames have. when i listen to it, it sounds kind of dated, although one of my favorite frames songs, red chord, is on this album:

dance the devil this is the album that made me love the frames, and i think it's still my favorite. it was released in 1999. if you've seen the swell season live, there might be a few songs you recognize here: pavement tune (i want my life to make more sense to me), and star star. my favorite song is 7 day mile:

i think i have a soft spot for this record because it's the first frames album i heard; i cannot for the life of me understand why this band is not bigger in the US -well maybe they will be now that glen won an oscar. i have no idea. there are a few albums that feel to me like a best friend, that i can listen to over and over, that i know so well i can sing along perfectly, that i fall asleep listening to. no code by pearl jam is one; dance the devil is another.

for the birds this is their next album; it came out in 2001. this is my second favorite, probably, although depending on the day, it might be number one. to me, this album has a bit more of an independent feel to it. i think that's probably because it was the first record the band really recorded where you can tell that they kind of said, well who cares about the record company? there is no clear "single" on here like revelate or pavement tune. i also think it's interesting that this album was partly recorded by steve albini (who did in utero, one of my favorite-sounding records). during some of the songs, you can hear noise of people walking around and stuff like that. before one song, i forget which one, you even hear a dog barking. this is definately an album that will take time to grow on you, but once it does, you won't be able to stop listening to it. here's headlong:

again, if you've seen the swell season, you might recognize lay me down and what happens when the heart just stops. i think this album, perhaps more than the others, has an interesting mixture of soft and loud songs. you have a song like headlong - which i adore - followed by something like early bird, - which i also love - a great song to turn up loud and sing along with. i also think it's worth noting that, in my opinion, this record has some of the greatest lyrics in the frames catalogue.

their next album, burn the maps, is not really one that i listen to very often. there are some good songs on there, but i just don't find myself reaching for it. this is finally:

the most recent album is the cost. this album is, by far, the most un-frames one, if that makes sense. i think it's a good record, but not one i would recommend to someone who doesn't know the frames. falling slowly (although a very different version than the one marketa and glen do) and when your mind's made up (wow, those songs are on 3 albums) are on here.

and then there's their live album, setlist, which is brilliant. i have it on my ipod, and listen to it almost every day on the way to work. there is a good mix of songs on here, and glen's story about the dog who inspired what happens when the heart just stops is pretty funny.

.. and if anyone has any clue where i can get from the breadcrumb trail, i'd be ever so grateful.

glen hansard:Music is medicine and dreams. For me that's what music is, when it's at its best. It makes time stop. It's salve. For me music is a moment of peace


Kristine said...

I am there Megan! Dublin next year?!? Of course! I think it is a ferry away from Scotland... Uhh, I think it is...

Kristine said...

By the way, you are soo my Frames expert!!! I really like the acoustic Red Chord video...