Boomkat Product Review:
Turning The Mind is paradoxically a darker yet more extroverted and musically flamboyant follow up to Maps' Mercury-nominated debut, We Can Create. Reportedly, throughout the making of that record James Chapman was heavily involved in drug use, and Turning The Mind arrives as a return to sobriety. Lyrically, this is a far more explicitly personal affair than Chapman's debut, although that confessional introspection is partnered with wall-of-sound synthesizer usage. The bombastic electropop formula is rather a strange one when you think about it; it makes a certain amount of sense for guitar bands to have U2-sized stadium rock ambitions, but for an erstwhile bedroom producer who stands behind a bank of flashing LEDs this all seems a bit peculiar - particularly given the unassuming timbre of Chapman's vocals. As with the debut, elements of Ulrich Schnauss-style grandiosity abound, but the more shoegazing aspects have been largely abandoned in favour of Coldplay-meets-Pet Shop Boys tendencies, as vented on 'Valium In The Sunshine' and 'I Dream Of Crystal'.