The Hours

Narcissus Road

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Antony Genn and Martin Slattery had certainly paid their musical dues, playing with '90s groups Elastica, Pulp, and Black Grape, so coming together for their first official release as the Hours was highly anticipated. Opening with a metronome on the first single, "Ali in the Jungle" which is a tribute to heroes who never gave up from Ali to Nelson Mandela to Beethoven, as the lyrics so eloquently state "Ludwig Van, how I loved that man, the guy went deaf, and couldn't give a f**k." Here is an album which gave Slattery a chance to thump the piano, on some tracks louder and louder and more and more insistent,and Genn a chance to wail to his heart's content. "Back When You Were Good" almost comes across as an attempt at a singalong anthem, slowly building to a crescendo after a near one and a half minute intro. "Love You More" starts as a simple ode to what Genn loves, including lyrics such as "I love you more than my record collection, my football team and my Adidas trainers" but by the end of the song, as he appears to get angrier, he's almost shouting the lyrics. However, in the midst of the aggression are tracks like "Icarus," which is almost Keane-like with a dominant thumping piano, and the soft ballads "I Miss You" and "Dive In," which unfortunately come across as dirges rather than love songs. The album spent just one week in the charts at number 47 in February 2007 which suggested the Hours may have to rethink their strategy, but then again, it was a higher chart placing than U2's debut album.

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