Turning the Mind

  • Record Label: Mute
  • Release Date: Oct 20, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 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.
  2. Perhaps unintentionally, Turning the Mind feels chemical itself--it's a cheap buzz that ultimately should have no problem finding its way into the wheelhouse of people who just can't get enough whooshy sound effects.
  3. It's the best pop album about beating depression since 1983's Soul Mining by The The. Buy now, and avoid the winter rush for Prozac.
  4. At times, Chapman seems in danger of being too earnest or letting his ambitions get the better of him, but Turning the Mind ends up being a significant step forward for Maps' music.
  5. At times, Chapman's whispery vocals could benefit from a magic potion of their own.
  6. Turning The Mind represents something of a disappointment.
  7. The uptempo songs on Turning the Mind suggest disco that’s been hollowed out and confined to a solitary outpost, where Mr. Chapman has only his isolation to sustain him.
  8. Under The Radar
    While it feels like there is no hope for them ever coming out of the dark place they exist in to take part of the pleasures in the outiside world, in contrast, Chapman is having quite an enjoyable time here with the ret of us humans. [Fall 2009, p.59]
  9. It’s a shame, because there were some genuinely good ideas on We Can Create, but Chapman seems to have no real sense of direction for this album, and thus the end result is wholly unfulfilling.
  10. Mojo
    He's still a remix away from getting played at Gatecrasher, but full marks for effort all the same. [Nov 2009, p.95]
  11. Uncut
    The Pet Shop Boys and Ladytron have elbowed their urbane ways into his affections, but Maps makes the move sound more like a case of personal growth than populist payoff. [Oct 2009, p.104]
  12. Whether creative flaw or conscious production choice, the uneven clip of this and other tracks prevents Turning the Mind from achieving the spatial, bliss-ridden freedom on which shoegaze thrives. Instead, Chapman pulls the reins back one time too many.
  13. Filter
    Though Maps is ona simple level known for James Chapman's spacey and cinematic sound, the new direction--or variety of directions--are all equally as wonderful, even if they are unrelated. [Fall 2009, p.106]

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