Maps & Atlases
Beware and Be Grateful


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
April 18th, 2012 | 40 replies | 2,366 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Greatness yet again.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

It’s fairly easy to dismiss Beware and Be Grateful as a by-the-numbers pop-centric album, one riddled with feel-good hooks and infectious choruses. Truth is, it sort of is, but it’s also so much more than that. There’s something undeniably admirable about how Dave Davison and co. write. Their music is readily accessible, emulating a tamer version of TV on the Radio, except that it’s rather intricate and surprisingly technical. That’s the thing that I love most about Maps & Atlases though: their music is technical and mathy, but not suffocatingly so. We can compare them to artists like TV on the Radio and Vampire Weekend because they’re user-friendly, and later, when we’re listening more attentively, we can pick out all of the cool little nuances. Akin (contextually, not in sound) to a band like Rush, Maps & Atlases can -and do- include subtle complexities in their music that most people won’t notice, but they’re able to retain a broad appeal while maintaining integrity, and that’s something to be commended.

The album’s centrepiece, “Silver Self,” best illustrates this dichotomy. It’s divided into two parts: the unabashedly upbeat and sunny former half and the messy, noise-rock ending -- it would be a Deerhoof song if the production wasn’t as meticulous. It’s the best example on the album of the band’s two different sides, presented almost as singular entities. Elsewhere, most of the album blends technicality with pop bliss. “Winter” features a maddeningly catchy rhythm guitar (this one is breezy, playful, and exuberant - destined to be in constant rotation), and “Remote and Dark Years” comes close to sounding like The Morning Benders, largely due to the distant vocal croons and melodic guitar playing.

The album is full of songs perfect for the season upon us. The production is clean, the vocals are crisp, the guitar melodies are gorgeous, and so on and so forth. There isn’t much to speak negatively about for an album as finely tuned as this. The only real criticism, and really the oddest thing about Beware and Be Grateful, is that the bookends feel notably out of place. Not only do they feel as though they would greatly benefit from being switched, as far as concern of flow goes, but they hardly fit the atmosphere of the album (the latter more so). “Old and Gray” develops slowly, features an oddly contorted vocal sample, and feels like the experimental album closer, whereas “Important,” while not matching the archetype of Beware and Be Grateful, would benefit greatly by being an opener. That’s really of little concern though; Beware and Be Grateful is pleasant, soothing, and playfully fun.



Recent reviews by this author
Sadistik Flowers For My FatherFoals Holy Fire
Lindstrom SmalhansFrank Ocean Channel Orange
The Antlers Burst ApartSoulsavers The Light The Dead See
user ratings (90)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Jacob Royal STAFF (3)
It's easy enough to be grateful for the carefree bliss of Maps & Atlases' latest outing, but what do...

robin EMERITUS (4)
cute songs....


Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
April 18th 2012



2685 Comments


I enjoyed the review - can't say I feel the same about the album though. It was pushed towards me about a week ago and, although I haven't really listened to it too much, it came across as a little bit so-so.

fuckthatnoise
April 18th 2012



1479 Comments


album kills.

Gyromania
April 18th 2012



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Originally posted here, y'all: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/2012/04/maps-atlases-beware-and-be-grateful.html#more

Tyrael
April 18th 2012



20415 Comments


so

God writes reviews now?

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

taylormemer
April 18th 2012



4887 Comments


Shorter review - how does it feel? You did well.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 18th 2012



5775 Comments


love gyro reviews

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

sniper
April 18th 2012



18584 Comments


what is this album like compared to the last one? perch patchwork really let me down but not because their direction is bad, i just thought it lacked interesting ideas.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 18th 2012



23652 Comments


"love gyro reviews"

can't wait to see how he'll snap on you for this one

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

jdennis31
April 18th 2012



6511 Comments


beware and be grateful for aids

Tyrael
April 18th 2012



20415 Comments


well

at least he looks good

I bet he gets all the women over there in Uganda

chambered69
April 18th 2012



1253 Comments


boring review pos

Ponton
Emeritus
April 18th 2012



5775 Comments


so much hate in here

Tyrael
April 18th 2012



20415 Comments


dw Jared

I still love you

chambered69
April 18th 2012



1253 Comments


:P

Ponton
Emeritus
April 18th 2012



5775 Comments


thanks man

Tyrael
April 18th 2012



20415 Comments


I love everyone! :]

except for someguest and progmaster, obviously

jdennis31
April 18th 2012



6511 Comments


legalize marijuana!

Steoandnoodles
April 18th 2012



2832 Comments


'Fever' is such a great song! =)
Some really great songs here but others, I sort of tend to forget what they even sound like. They are good but I just find them forgettable.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 18th 2012



5775 Comments


so im slow

are you guys saying matt has a big ego complex

ZilbelPing
April 18th 2012



5788 Comments


Man my friend showed my a song by these guys and I've still yet to get an album by them. I really need to get on that. Is this a good one or should I get their earlier material first?



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy