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It is a shame that this is only available at present on an import edition. The success of their new album THE COST has won the band a lot of new fans. For those new to the band, they are similar to the Feelies in that both bands are extraordinarily good live but somewhat flat on record. THE COST is one of the rare exceptions for the Frames, as is this album from 1996. I'm on the fence as to which album I like more. THE COST might be a better album on a cut by cut basis, but the highpoints of FITZCARRALDO might be better than the best on THE COST. But hairsplitting like this is really pretty meaningless. If you love the one album, you will also love the other. My advice: get both.

A lot of people like to call The Frames the best album in Ireland. They well may be, but I think a lot of statements like this are driven by the relative lack of success the Frames have had contrasted with the excessive success enjoyed by U2. For many of us U2 is the band we hate to love. There is no question that they are great, but the gap between them and the Frames is smaller than the latter's failure to sell many records would imply. I personally would rather hear Glen Hansard sing than Bono. He may lack Bono's power in the upper registers, but there is an angst and expressiveness in Hansard's voice that I never find in Bono's.

All that aside, the Frames is a band that will shock people coming to them for the first time. There seems to be no rational explanation for why they aren't huge. Hansard is both a great singer and a great songwriter and while they are uneven in the studio they are among the best live acts in rock. FITZCARRALDO is filled with a string of really fine songs, as well as a few great ones. As I write this I'm listening to the three-song progression of the title track, "Evergreen," and "In This Boat Together." What more could you want from music than this? Hansard is so soulful in his singing that he almost brings to mind another great Irish soul singer, Van Morrison. "Monument" is another gorgeous song (one that really does sound like U2). "Revelate" (I love the variant on "reveal" and "revelation") is another. My favorite song on the album, however, "Giving It All Away," with contrasts great playing by the band (including some great bass lines) with some of Hansard's best singing on the album.

This band deserves to be huge. They probably won't be. But I do urge anyone who loves music to at the very least get this album and their more recent album THE COST. BURN THE MAP and a couple of their live albums (like I said, they are at their best live) are also definitely worth exploring, but the two albums I've identified should be in any serious music library.
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on February 12, 2007
Honestly, I could write endlessly about how incredible this band is both on cd and live in concert but I really wouldn't be saying anything different from all the other reviewers. I guess the greatest compliment I can give Glen and the rest of the band is that on Friday, I am flying from Vancouver, Canada to London for four days and my sole reason for going is to attend The Frames show on February 20, 2007. If you get the chance to see this amazing band live, you should grab it. They are the #1 live band. The song Fitzcarraldo still sends shivers down my spine especially the live version.
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on January 9, 2000
I was first introduced to this album by a friend who found it for 50p at car boot sale. Possibly the greatest bargain of all time! Every single person who me and my friends have introduced to it has been captivated by its intense power,emotion and sincerity. As a result most of them have now bought it! The album kicks off with 'revelate',an agressive, emotional song concerning personal wilderness and self-discovery which is a cry for attention which immediately grabs the listeners. 'Angel at my table' is another heart-rending track which is both deeply personal and all encompassing. The title track is a change of style , and is much more melodic and sane and provides a nice contrast to the slightly more raw first 2 tracks. The album continues along its course seamlessly and the intensity is retained to the faboulous and potentially world changing 'Red Chord', which marks its high point. Having said that,although the final two tracks are not quite of the same haunting power, they would be stand out on any other album, and provide a good balance. This ensures that 'Fitzcarraldo' is an album with which you won't be skipping tracks. Although 'Fitzcarraldo' is not quite as mature a sound as 'Dance the Devil', there is no doubt in my mind this beautiful, cinematic, heart-rendering cry in the dark is a wonderful combination of raw emotion and free music. Emancipate your soul and splash some cash because this album WILL have a profound effect on the rest of your life. An instant and eternal classic.
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on June 10, 2002
When I first heard of The Frames DC, I was a college junior. I fell in love with their lush sound and entrancing vocals. Their lyrics are haunting, their music inviting and soulful. Why this band has not acheived greatness in the US is still beyond me.
The best thing about "Fitzcarraldo" is that there is no bad song. Every song on this album is a winner. From "Revelate", a stunning and stirring prologue to this poetic album, to "Your Face", a sweet love song, "Fitzcarraldo" sings with amazing talent. If you do not already have this album, BUY IT! Tell your friends about this wonderful band! HELP MAKE THEM BIG IN AMERICA!!
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on December 4, 2002
I stumbled across a copy of this CD in the .99 cent bin at my local record store in 1997 and was hooked for life. A rare album which manages to balance catchy tunes with intelligent and earthy songwriting, it also showcases the maturation of a very unique band. The Frames manage to retain their Irish identity in their sound, and subsequently the music doesn't fall into any of the cookie-cutter categories the industry pushes. That's why they've remained fairly obscure and even decided to self-release their latest album FOR THE BIRDS. But FITZCARRALDO marks the band's artistic maturation (their debut album, ANOTHER LOVE SONG, comes off rather spotty), and it's a great album to listen to while driving late at night. "Revelate" kicks things off with a bang, and by the time it winds down to the lullaby-like "Your Face", Glen Hansard and company have taken a journey of self-doubt, despair, loss, and ultimately hope. Other hightlights include the title track, "Red Chord", and "Angel at my Table". They still play some of these songs at their energetic live shows, which if you are lucky enough to catch in the U.S., prove that they are one of the hardest working and brilliant acts today.
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on November 27, 2003
I might be a wee bit biased because I'm Irish but The Frames (sometimes listed as The Frames DC [Dublin City] because of some other crap US band with the same name) are amazing. Nobody else can mix rock music so well with an instrument like a violin. Revelate is a classic. The video was recorded in a Dublin post office for the price of a video cassette to put in the security system.. Desperate measures for a cash strapped band. The record is a brilliant second record. Recorded 4years after their extremely rare debut it is far better. The title track Fitzcarraldo is my personal favourite - I've seen them live a few times too and god do they put on a show! Buy this CD!
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on May 29, 1998
The first time I heard of this band was during rag week (a week devoted drunken students !)in Galway, Ireland, 1995. I was so impressed by their performance that i went and bought their album, Fitzcarraldo. The original album consists of 10 songs, and it was later remixed by Trevor Horn. Unfortunately, in my view, he made a total mess of the most of the album, as only a few songs were played with. The live sound of the original was lost. To appreciate the quality of the Frames d.c. one would have to see them live as they are one of the best I have ever seen. Allthough they are not known outside Ireland, they do deserve much more awareness.
They were a six piece band (now five after Noreen, the back-up singer quited). Rhythym, lead guitars, bass, drums and an excellent violinist who can create sounds one has never heard before. The harmonics explode from your stereo system when played especially songs like Fitzcarraldo, revelate, say it to me now, red chord, angel at my table and a extremely pleasant and relaxing fade-away hidden track, your face.
I would recomend this album to any music lovers as it experiments with many sounds. From loud punky (not extreme)celtic rock to very relaxing acoustic melodies.
One may recognise the lead singer, Glen Hansard, who was "Outspan" in the blockbuster musical the Commitments. The ex bass player is the son of the Drummer from Thin Lizzy. So there is alot of talent there.
Check it out yourself anyway. I garantee you won't be dissapointed. If possible try and get the original album (has a blue cover) but I don't know if one can order it anymore. You can check out their web site, just do a search on the frames d.c.
If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to e-mail me.
Hope you enjoy - Greg
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on July 16, 1998
Glen Hansard,sadly may be more recognisable to many as outspan foster from" the commitments".This shouldn't be as the Alan Parker film is not his finest moment, brillant and all that it was. Glen's crowning glory to date has to be "fitzcarraldo".The album named after Werner Herzog's film of the same name.The album if you forgive the pun is truly outspanding.I think it's the best album by an Irish band ever.stand out tracks include "revelate","fitzcarraldo","say it to me now"and "monument",however the finest moment on the album has to be the closing track "your face".The album was remixed and sadly lost some of the live feel of the original.however they did drop "Roger" for "evergreen" and gave "your face"a track of it's own,it had being a hidden track on the original.so now it's finest moment is more accessible ! This is a truly excellent album.
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on August 7, 1999
When the likes of Radiohead, REM et al produce this kind of stuff, they end up being celebrated as superstars. When The Frames do so, they nearly break up. This album is simply brilliant. With every track being a complex, melodic and, at times, throat lump-inducing marvel. Standouts include 'Say it to me now', 'Angel at my table' and the tiltle track. Buy it, be patient with it and treasure. Avoid their debut though
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on January 8, 1999
I wish this band and particularly this album got more coverage. Beautiful songs like Red Chord, Giving It All Away and the title song soar ,while other songs like Monument and Roger kick butt. On a scale of 1 - 10 , I would have to give an 11. Cliched, I know, but thoroughly deserved. If you get a chance to see 'em live, DO it. You'll love it!!!
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