Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Frame & Canvas
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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John Cofer | Millis, MA | 08/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those of us who find it acceptable to categorize music, Braid's 'Frame and Canvas' is, in my humble opinion, one of a handful of cornerstone emo classics: it is one of the albums that defines the genre, persay. Along with Sunny Day Real Estate's 'Diary', Mineral's 'The Power of Failing', The Promise Ring's '30 Degrees Everywhere' Texas is the Reason's 'Do You Know Who You Are?', Rites of Spring's 'End on End', Jimmy Eat World's 'Clarity', and Jawbreaker's 'Bivouac', this disc is one of the true greats of the whole scene. All of the aformentioned albums are significantly different from one another, and each has a distinctive element or a number of elements to it that set it apart from the rest. In Braid's case, I believe that the interlocking guitars, creative time changes, skilled technicality, and excellent compostion make them one of the best bands of the genre to surface, and then, unfortunately, dissolve.Braid plays emo-pop, not emo-core; for it is lighter and easier to swallow than say Planes Mistaken for Stars or Drive Like Jehu, but they do not, like many many other emo-pop bands, cross the line into insincerity, sappiness, or over-exaggeration. Instead, Braid offers truly heartfelt music that has real substance to it.The band's sound is not as bleak and depressive as the sounds of, for example, Mineral and Cross My Heart, but it still "tugs at the heartstrings" with intensity and depth. This is one of the reasons why I like this album so much: it displays an incredible depth of feeling, yet it is not depressive or brooding. The album has, like all great emo albums, a sentimentality and nostalgia for the past built into it, and it deals with the classic themes of relationships and self-definition. This album, at least to me, parallels The Promise Ring's '30 Degrees Everywhere,' for both of them display these qualities extremely well and much to the same effect. Additionally, both albums offer poetic lyrics, that are, of course, intensely personal [and therefore not as obvious], but they contribute to universal understandings: there are some lines that will strike a definite note with you, or call upon a specific personal memory. The lyrics are personal to the writer yet they have the ability to stir your own senses and can be applied to your own personal experiences and memories. This is yet another reason why the album is so great: the lyrics are seemingly meaningless but upon further examination they really hit home, and are truly poetic.Also, I personally like the band's usage of two singers. Like Jimmy Eat World's Atkinson and Lindon, Nanna's and Broach's singing meshes well and contributes to the pair's interlocking guitars.The best songs on 'Frame and Canvas', in my humble opinion, are Urbana's too Dark, Killing a Camera, Never Will Come For Us, and a Dozen Roses, although there are no weak tracks on the album. This disc is hands-down one of my favorites.If you like this one then I'd recommend Braid's other stuff, particularly 'The Age of Octeen'; that is also an excellent listen.Note: check out Sky Corvair's 'Unsafe at Any Speed' [they have it here on Amazon.com but it's hard to find in generic music stores]. Sky Corvair was a sideproject of Cap'n Jazz and Braid, featuring Tom Kinsella of Cap'n Jazz and Bob Nanna of Braid. 'Unsafe at Any Speed' has to be one of the most overlooked, passed-over emo records ever. It is stunning and is every bit as good as 'Frame and Canvas.'"
"once... twice... sold."
Bill Martin | wilmington, de | 07/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Braid's last album was truly the pinnacle of their career, marking the final chapter of the band's steady growth from its post-hardcore roots to a more melodic, if not poppier, emo sound. Mentioned countless times as an inspiration, this Chicago band created a sound of their own with intricate guitar work, sudden starts and stops, and time signature changes. Bob Nanna and Chris Broach always did an amazing job, but especially on Frame and Canvas, of fitting their "straight from the journal" lyrics to the appropriate music. The twelve songs found on this album highlight Braid's strengths as well as hint at a weakness or two. One of the initial tasks of first-time Braid listeners is undoubtedly getting used to the distinct vocal styles of Nanna and Broach. Both guitarists share singing duties, with Nanna's songwriting credits just slightly outweighing Broach's. To get a good feel for how the singers' voices intertwine (a synonym of Braid... coincidence?), this reviewer recommends "First Day Back," "Collect From Clark Kent," and "Ariel." Because the album flows so incredibly well, sooner or later the complimenting melodic-screaming vocal style will make much more sense and will allow the listener to then move their attention to the amazing musicianship underneath. For a group of four guys in their early twenties, this album is mature enough to be taken very seriously, but also displays that amazing sense of confusion that walks hand in hand with growing up. Being that young and constantly on tour, as Braid was for nine months of the year, also seemed to have played a role in the subject matter of songs like "The New Nathan Detroits" and "I Keep A Diary," which details a roller coaster relationship suffering through distance. "Nineteen i said i hated you / but kissed you on twenty-two / and music together / i meant it for a moment / twenty-two and through and through." Whether you have heard nothing but good things, the occasional reference, or never knew there was a band called Braid, Frame and Canvas will be worth your time and is sure to spend plenty of time in the stereo."
The shape of '00-decade emo to come
Aaron Burgess | Round Rock, TX, USA | 07/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For every strength on Braid's previous two albums, there was usually a more noticeable weakness: the awkwardness of two singers who couldn't stay in key; the lack of strong melodies; the tendency to get overly technical for no apparent reason. But on Frame and Canvas, the young Midwestern quartet reassessed themselves, brushed off the dirt and grasped the range of their own strengths, creating a seminal document of late-'90s emo in the process. Sure, the album's 12 tracks invite references to longtime Braid inspirations Jawbox, Rites of Spring and Fugazi -- bands who enhanced punk's intensity with counterpoint, melodic variation, romanticism and emotional depth. (Incidentally, Burning Airlines/ex-Jawbox guitarist J. Robbins produced the album.) And in tracks such as "The New Nathan Detroits," guitarists/singers Bob Nanna and Chris Broach could pass for a duo of J. Robbins and Fugazi's Guy Picciotto. But thanks to those great intangible qualities -- passion and sincerity -- Braid make even the most clearly influenced guitar riff or vocal affectation burn as if it were just being discovered. It takes a lot more than simple emulation to make something this familiar sound this powerful -- and all these years later, Frame and Canvas is still powerful enough to raise the neck hair of anyone who understands."