Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is the moniker used by 26 year old, Essex born singer-songwriter Sam Duckworth. His rise to prominence came in 2006 with the release of his debut LP Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager, which received widespread acclaim for its rich array of musical styles and seamless blending of genres, such as pop, folk, indie and electronica. Fast becoming a staple around the UK festival scene, he became well known for his political activism in music, particularly towards the 'Love Music, Hate Racism' campaign. Since his early musical success, he has released two further albums under the Get Cape stage; (2008’s Searching for the Hows and Whys and 2010’s Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly ) before releasing The Mannequin in 2011, as his first effort as Sam Duckworth.

Maps constitutes a further change in direction for this innovative young musician. The album begins with the lead single 'The Real McCoy'. A fuzzy, heavy guitar riff instantly hits the listener; which led me to instantly wonder if I was listening to the wrong artist. This was in fact Get Cape, but a very different beast to the one which I had laid my ears upon back in 2006. The theme of fuzzy indie-rock continues for the following two songs, which suited neither the singer’s vocal style or his musicianship. Full of 'oooh's', 'aaahs' and 'naahs', it was reminiscent of the lyrical droughts that can normally be found gracing any album by the Kaiser Chiefs.

Following what could generously be described as an underwhelming start to the album, it is with 'Call of Duty' that we start to hear the glimpses of genius that we have come to expect of Duckworth. Heavy bass and 'The Joy of Stress' is arguably the album’s strongest track, and it display’s the absorbing and colourful approach to storytelling that has featured so effectively on Get Cape's back catalogue. Duckworth deviates from his finger-picking guitar style to great effect with the Tom Petty-era riff on 'Snap', a track which stands apart from anything in his back catalogue in the best possible way. Collaborations with acclaimed UK hip-hop artist Jehst (on 'The Long and Short of It' and 'Offline Maps') are good stand-alone tracks; however, on the basis of the album as a whole, they fail to really connect with the listener in any meaningful way. The album is rounded off with a couple of filler tracks in the form of 'Easy (Complicated)' and 'London’s Burning' where Get Cape returns to his familiar indie pop style, but this time lacking the hooks and musicianship which made similar tracks earlier in the album so rewarding.

Some artists seem content to release the same album again and again, never straying too far from their comfort zone. The sign of real talent is when an artist can change musical direction, but stay true to what drew audiences to their music to begin with (see Coldplay's last two albums for evidence of this done well). Whilst Duckworth's ambition is admirable, it is in his delivery that he has, at times, fallen flat. Whereas on Chronicles the myriad of genres felt as though they were fused together organically, this effort it feels a little forced. Though there are 4 or 5 good tracks on the album, it falls short of fulfilling its potential with its constant need for innovation, often at the expense of the album’s consistency, theme and flow.