Maps & Atlases :: "Fever"

When you write a conditional lyric like, "When the fever passes", you can't say it long or loud enough. Operating as invocation and explanation, Maps & Atlases build their latest wide-open, major-label-sounding "Fever" around big hooks, spacious guitars and the signature lyric, implying a moment of certain clarity, the passing of a foggy age of strange dreams and enthusiastic demagoguery. There are shades of the over-ambition of bands like Kings of Leon here, a wide-open rock song with an apparent operating aesthetic to always keep rising. But Maps & Atlases, perhaps because they haven't sold their millionth record yet, don't necessarily go the way of Icarus. In fact, "Fever" seems to have a chorus they never got around to writing, a true cloud-clearing moment where the drums would double-tap, the key would change, your car stereo melting from the speed. Inside of all this gloss, inside these big unironic drums, is a moment that never comes. As the band suggests, "When the fever passes/ when we don't know what to do," there is value in seeing our way out of these self-sick days while still being a bit knee-deep in them.

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