Grand Archives' second album reprises the sound of their 2008 debut, from the emphasis on rich vocal harmonies to the leisurely strum of their instruments. Founding member Ron Lewis left the lineup several months before this album's release, choosing to blaze a slightly livelier path with the Shins instead. Even so, the band sounds remarkably unchanged throughout Keep in Mind Frankenstein, whose track list makes room for intimate numbers as well as faster, campfire-worthy tracks. As before, Grand Archives sound best whenever the members' voices are combined, and they stack their harmonies high on songs like "Silver Amongst the Gold" and "Oslo Novelist." "Lazy Bones" stands out as perhaps the most moving number, with ambient guitar noise and keyboard drones providing a gorgeous setting for the vocals, while "Siren Echo Valley (Part 2)" abandons vocals altogether, focusing instead on the band's ability to create an instrumental track worthy of spaghetti western cinema. There are small diversions from the formula, of course -- a Theremin shows up during several tracks, and Sera Cahoone duets with Mat Brooke on the sadly beautiful "Siren Echo Valley (Part 1)" -- but Frankenstein is essentially the companion CD to 2008's Grand Archives.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey