Monday, July 01, 2013

Braid ‎– Frame & Canvas (1998)

These poppy math rock and emo veterans put together very technical pop melodies, often with time changes and beautiful interlocking melodic guitar parts, fused together with yelled/sung boyish vocals. Frame & Canvas proves to be one of Braid's best efforts -- by the end of the first song, "The New Nathan Detroits," you know you will be humming these melodies in your head for at least the next few days. The album continues to mature throughout, providing a sense of heartbreak and sentimentality on amazing tracks like "A Dozen Roses" and "Breathe In." If you are looking for emo-pop with overflowing energy and highly skilled compositions, this is for you.
Blake Butler

Ah, Braid. One of those bands that played during the glory days of "emo," also known as the mid-`90s. So many bands put out amazing albums during this time: Texas Is the Reason, Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, caP'n Jazz, the Promise Ring, just to name a few.

Frame & Canvas opens up with "The New Nathan Detroits," which is an excellent song to showcase Braid to new fans, and is a contender for their best song. Chris and Robert's vocals are separated during this song for the most part, really showing off each member's voice. Each song after is almost as good, all in different ways, and become instant classics. "Collect from Clark Kent" is a really fun song lyrically, as Robert sings about Superman being scared to fight crime. "A Dozen Roses" is another contender for Braid's best song, and is Robert's best ballad. "Urbana's Too Dark" is a personal favorite. "I Keep A Diary" is a lovely and solemn song, and an excellent way to close Braid's final album.

The album isn't perfect, however. Chris is limited to leading only two songs, and they are not his best either. The Age of Octeen, while also only having two Chris leads, has his best. I also think Frame & Canvas lacks the youthful energy that was so charming on The Age of Octeen. The version of "First Day Back" that appears on this album, while good, is not as good as the version found on Movie Music Vol. 1 as well.

Nonetheless, Frame & Canvas is a fantastic closing chapter for Braid, and they should be proud of it. It is a perfect starting point for new listeners, and will please fans of their earlier work. If you've been hesitating, hesitate no longer.
Considered by many to be the definitive Braid album, Frame and Canvas was recorded by J. Robbins (Jawbox/Burning Airlines) at Inner Ear studios in December 1997. Braid's leaner, more focused sound on the album was in direct correlation to the band's constant and prolific touring.
Braid's third and final album features the bombastic crowd pleaser "The New Nathan Detroits," the lovesick mathrock dance anthem "A Dozen Roses" and the shimmery mini-epic of "I Keep a Diary."


  1. How in the world do you download anything?

  2. @shawn google translate is your friend