The FramesThe Cost
Essential: "People Get Ready"
Rock comes with so many qualifiers these days: art rock, dance rock, indie rock, punk rock. It's refreshing to hear Dublin's the Frames play some good old-fashioned rock on their sixth album, "The Cost." Not that there's anything retro or naive about its sound. Rather, the album is sophisticated and layered with deft orchestration. And yet, the band's songwriting and delivery display an earnestness and lack of pretension that's pure rock. The veteran band has mastered its craft, but it maintains a loose immediacy. The album was recorded live in the studio with longtime producer and former Frames guitarist David Odlum . Its songs continue singer-guitarist Glen Hansard's obsession with dissecting the difficulties of love and lust and manage to shift moods seamlessly, without ever sounding schizophrenic. Whether atmospheric or anarchic, the Frames always play as if their lives were on the line. [Sarah Tomlinson]