Blank Condolences is the fourth song off The Mars Volta’s self-titled seventh (and most recent) album. The original track mainly features abstract electric guitar work from Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, and layered vocals from Cedric Bixler-Zevala and they are accompanied by bass, flute, and sequenced drums. I am a huge fan of The Mars Volta and I think every album they’ve released is great, including the newest addition which may be a hot take among some Volta fans.
The original Blank Condolences has an almost minimalistic arrangement consisting only of the few instruments I mentioned earlier but the arrangement is done tastefully and stays interesting. Blank Condolences is not one of my favorite songs from the album, not because it is bad by any means, but in my opinion, it is overshadowed by other tracks with more complex instrumentation. Even though that is the case, I still enjoy the song quite a bit, and when I heard that the band released an acoustic version as a single my interest peaked.
The acoustic version features acoustic guitar, a single lead vocal line, a flute, acoustic bass, and a percussion section made up of hand drums, shakers, and quiet bells. Overall I think the song translated extremely well to the acoustic version and I may even like this new version better than the original. There was something that felt sort of person about this recording, specifically the vocals, and the new instrumentation just gave the song a new life. I believe that this is the first single from a new release featuring acoustic versions of most (or all) of the tracks from their latest album. When this new release drops I will definitely be doing a full, more in-depth, review.
I definitely would recommend checking out the acoustic version of Blank Condolences if you liked anything from the last Mars Volta album or if you are a fan of Latin-influenced pop music (which is what I would classify the new album as, and not any of their others)