Burn The Maps

  • Record Label: Anti
  • Release Date: Feb 8, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Jaysus lads, get out the oven mitts – this one smokes.
  2. The album moves in gasps and groans, with a steady flow to its twelve songs that weaves together like a symphony.
  3. Burn the Maps is an elemental journey that tugs at the heart and sticks around in the mind.
  4. It’s an unpredictably bipolar record with plenty of mood swings and emotional shifts that will ultimately leave listeners with feelings of euphoria.
  5. Far and away the group's most determined work of its 15-year career.
  6. Unabashedly mellow and reflective, Burn the Maps may not hook mainstream music fans who've been conditioned to expect a tidily rhyming chorus ever thirty seconds.
  7. It's an intensely private album, full of desolation, leave-takings, recriminations and regrets. [21 Feb 2005]
  8. Mojo
    An overwhelming record that bends and blusters with grand passions, bittersweet beauty and no small hint of desperation. [Apr 2005, p.98]
  9. Planet
    Meticulous recording, layered songwriting, and a little bit of "special effects" turns a bunch of good songs into a great album. [#9, p.70]
  10. Some of these exercises in frustration are simply frustrating, but for the most part, The Frames' perverse restraint matches Hansard's lyrics, which are all about lowered expectations.
  11. Blender
    Maps... swap[s] the band's trademark dreariness for the U2-style arena-rock sweep that makes their live shows... so exciting. [Mar 2005, p.140]
  12. Alternative Press
    Burn The Maps' muted vibe demands that you turn down the lights, fire up the candles and listen hard. [Mar 2005, p.132]
  13. While nearly any song on Burn the Maps works effectively, the album as a whole can't quite maintain its momentum with such structural repetition.
  14. Under The Radar
    When it's good, it's great.... However, when it's bad, it borders on boring. [#9]
  15. Entertainment Weekly
    These Irishmen have a way of merging lush Celtic melancholy with inspired Morse-code guitar noise... Alas, they also have a way with misogyny. [4 Feb 2005, p.135]
  16. Burn the Maps often sounds like simplicity transformed into bloat in an attempt to sound interesting.
  17. Magnet
    Once a means to subvert pop/rock formula, the band's abruptly shifting dynamics have themselves become formulaic. [#67, p.97]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Jan 4, 2012
    As an album not bad, but as a follow up to For The Birds very disappointing. It does have some great moments but too many weak ones, somethingAs an album not bad, but as a follow up to For The Birds very disappointing. It does have some great moments but too many weak ones, something that could never have been said of the bands previous 3 albums Full Review »
  2. KathleenM.
    Jan 23, 2008
    Excellent, damn near 10.
  3. Hein
    May 3, 2006
    Very Good!