On their sixth album, these Irish rockers clearly ache to be anthemic rather than adventurous. The result is a tepid effort that bogs down their previously rugged and introspective rock with power-ballad vibrato, lurid over-orchestration, and petulantly vague lyrics. The Cost has been pared of the electronic influences that worked well on 2005’s Burn the Maps, replacing them with self-indulgent swooning. When singer Glen Hansard hisses, “Dance, monkey, dance / Don’t have me repeating myself” (on “The Side You Never Get to See”), you’ll need a Guinness to erase the memory of a record with theatrics to spare but nothing to say.
Now Hear This: The Frames – “Sad Songs” DOWNLOAD MP3