Maps & Atlases – Beware and Be Grateful

January 01, 1970



A mere two albums on, Chicago-based band Maps & Atlases
have already achieved that most rarified distinction – that is, being a band
that defies easy categorization. Credit a collision of styles and set-ups, a
motif that finds pulsating tempos at odds with quirky off-kilter pop. That’s
not to say comparisons aren’t inevitable — “Old Ash” and “Silver Self” bring
to mind Paul Simon’s Graceland, each
song incorporating that same infectious shuffle and giddy exuberance that made
Simon’s world rhythms so compelling.


And yet, that makes Beware and Be Grateful all the
more confounding, given that some of their melodies seem on the verge of a
disconnect. Indeed, that’s the case with the spindly sound of “Remote &
Dark Times” and the skittish delivery of “Be Three Years Old.” And even though
opening track “Old & Gray” appears to assert some sentiment — “When you’re
old and gray/I hope someone loves you” – there’s little that follows later on
that further bares their soul. It’s left, then, to the album title – Beware
and Be Grateful
-to sum things up more succinctly.


DOWNLOAD: “Old Ash,”
“Silver Self,” “Old & Gray” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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