Album review: Maps - 'Turning The Mind' (Epic)

The natural successors to Sigur Ros take the dream out of pop

What is it at the moment with all this half-arsed, evangelical Christian hymn-aping synth music masquerading as dream-pop or screen-gaze? If I wanted to go to church I would do. In full corpse paint armed with a bucket full of petrol, a box of matches and Mayhem on my iPod. This arpeggiated, over-produced, glossy, easy listening music goes so far in the direction of being unchallenging it actually becomes aggressively offensive.

Such is the sugary onslaught of sparkling and synthesized major key pap, listening to it is like being beaten to death by a room full of wrinkled Women’s Institute ladies armed with Battenburg cakes. Much has been made of James Chapman’s new dance direction on this, his second album as Maps. But after feebly farting into existence on the half-baked disco of ‘Let Go Of The Fear’ it disappears again, leaving us with obviously titled songs like ‘I Dream Of Crystal’, ‘Valium In The Sunshine’ and ‘A Memory Of Clouds’ (one of these is made up, but you can’t tell, can you?). Despite the odd catchy moment such as ‘Die Happy, Die Smiling’ you’re left thinking that those yodelling fucking elf-botherers Sigur Ros have got a lot to answer for.

John Doran

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Click here to get your copy of Maps' 'Turning The Mind' from the Rough Trade shop.

4 / 10
Maps: The Making Of 'Turning The Mind' The Album
Video: Maps: The Making Of 'Turning The Mind' The Album

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