Tales Don't Tell Themselves
UG Team, on may 15, 2007 2 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Funeral For A Friend delves into the world of concept albums with its latest release Tales Don't Tell Themselves, and that can often be a dangerous move. But the band actually pulls off the move, throwing out some emotional themes (think stranded fisherman at sea), while still staying true its melodic pop-rock sound. This is not to say that the band doesn't go the extra step production-wise. The tracks are impeccably produced, with arrangements that can sound quite cinematic at times.
The Welsh quintet has already gained a hefty fan base -- beating out The Darkness to win Kerrang's Best UK Newcomers in 2003 -- and when you listen to their latest record, it's easy to understand the appeal. FFAF delivers mostly pop-driven songs, but they actually have a grander quality that you don't hear everyday. The opener Into Oblivion starts off with, for lack of a better word, joyful and almost Disney-like introduction, complete with what sounds like children's vocal background vocals. The power chords enter into the mix not long after the start, but that's not to say it becomes an all-out rock song. It maintains a pop feel in the sense that it has a catchy melodic chorus that does lure you into hear the rest of the record.
Most of the tracks on Tales Don't Tell Themselves don't stray too far from the traditional pop-rock format and might not be unusual enough for some out there. However, there are nice little touches throughout there that go beyond just playing chord-driven songs. For example, in The Great Wide Open the song immediately opens with a guitar lick that carries the entire verse through. It's a cool touch, but it's actually the ending that sells the song. An entirely new song section is added in to give it that big finale sound that really is the emotional pinnacle of The Great Wide Open.
On A Wire could easily be chosen as a love song playing at a key moment in teen movies these days. It starts out with a subtle and fairly average verse, but it's during the chorus when vocalist/guitarist Matt Davies breaks in with a more passionate delivery. Combine that with a nice descending lick heard faintly in the background of the chorus, and it makes for a really solid track. // 9
Lyrics: Frontman Matt Davies has mentioned in past interviews that the latest concept album is apparently about a character named David, a fisherman whose town is hit by a storm. After that event, he is now stranded at sea and seeking a way to return to his family. It's definitely an interesting concept and the lyrics on the record do it justice.
Into Oblivion (Reunion) is the opener and it becomes instantly apparent that the story is in full motion. Davies sings, The days I've felt alone; And the sea, it brings me back again; So that I can see my wife; And I can see my child; Home, I'm home, it never changes. Concept albums might not be everyone's favorite thing, but the band really does a nice job of making the story come alive through the lyrics. // 9
Overall Impression: The band definitely walks a fine line between rock and pop, and this may really annoy some listeners who like edgier music. But to FFAF's credit, there are some nice musical elements that give it a larger-than-life sound. In the closing number The Sweetest, listeners first hear a sullen piano line, which slowly but surely transforms the song into the CD's big epic ballad. The band incorporates a string section and more minor chords than usual, giving the band a whole different sound. The lighthearted feel on other tracks isn't present anymore, and it's nice to hear the band take a darker turn.
Tales Don't Tell Themselves is a rare pop-rock success these days and it will likely earn the band a bigger fan base in the United States. Although the album was written as a concept record, it won't be surprising if some of the songs find their way into many movie soundtracks. Again, this may have some rolling their eyes, but there is something to be said about a band that is instantly able to create a mood with their songs. // 9
Tales Don't Tell Themselves
False_God, on may 15, 2007 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album sounds a lot like Hours, Just more mainstream which is a let down tbh. But I guess that's what happens when popularity strikes unfortunly! But I think Matt Davies vocal Abilities have gotten that bit better! Once again, they still have the octave notes ringin away in their riffs, sorta boring because that's what have been using from day one, so imo a change is needed! Those of what I mentioned might be a let down of the album over all! // 8
Lyrics: I'm gonna take you song by song just to make it less all over the place so here.
01. Into Oblivion - the first single to be released off the album. Prolly one of the best off the album too! very poppy and mainstream feeling off this one. Maybe it's just me! but none the less it's a good enough song, everything flows nicly.
02. The Great Wide Open - I like the intro riff! I thought I was gonna get some old FFAF with this song, but not completly! it's like a mix of old FFAF and new. it's a great song tho, I really like the chorus! Really catchy.
03. The Diary - Imo crap title and crap song.. Theirs just no kick from this song! The only good thing is the chorus, which looses the buzz the first time round! Not a great song really.
04. On A Wire - sorta mellow song, but once again not really feeling FFAF with this one! Nothing really special with it! But it's not the worst I guess.
05. Raise The Sail Pt. 1 - the intro gives off a really good song to come! And that's what they give! Probably my favourite song off it! If they kept this going for the rest of the album I will be happy.
06. Open Water Pt. 2 - ok, first time I heard it I didn't like it, second time I still didn't like it. Tbh this song just aint FFAF. Prolly the worst song on the album.
07. Out Of Reach - this song is like something off hours which I have been waiting for since song one. Sorta like Raise The Sail, not as good! omg, the chorus is really disapointing! That's usually their strong point in songs! But not this time!
08. One For The Road - starts off really good! The better of the mellow songs on the album! The chorus is pretty good, nothing really compared to some previous songs! But a good song none the less.
09. Walk Away - I get a American Rejects feel off this song! That's all I'm saying! I will let you judge this song.
10. The Sweetest Wave - I don't know what they were thinking doing this song, I really don't. It completly kills the albums intensity. Thanks christ it's at the end so you can turn it off before it starts! But on a musical side of review it's pretty good, well structured. // 7
Overall Impression: Over-all this is like b-sides of hours imo. It just doesnt't compare to any of their previous albums unfortunly! I'm probably being really mean but damn like, I expected something great from a great band and imo they failed to deliver! Anyway I will let ye be the judge of that! It is just my opinion of course! // 7
Tales Don't Tell Themselves
Tijy, on may 19, 2007 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tales Don't Tell Themselves being a concept album can make or break a band. The overall sound of the album is a quite sharp departure from FFAF's early recordings such as Four Ways to Scream Your Name (U.S. release as Seven Ways to Scream Your Name), Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation, and seem to search for a medium between simple catchy sound and complex hard and fast riffs. The album of itself gives the feel of a redone Hours. But to sum up the sound of TDTT to me would most accurately be an album filled with a lot of filler. // 8
Lyrics: FFAF deserve some credit with the lyrics considering it is a concept album, with the apparent concept of someone lost at sea going through the throws of his mind before he dies in the sea. But in typical ffaf fashion, the lyrics are mostly repeated throughout the song, but much more so in this album and the lyrics are cookie-cut to fit the genre they are trying to look for. For example, in Out Of Reach 4 lines make up nearly the entire song, which after a minute or so becomes annoying and makes the temptation to switch songs an itch that can't not be scratched. Even though the lyrics could have more depth to them, Davies is finally beginning to find a range of vocals in which he doesn't rely on his backing vocals to complement his voice (I.e Casually Dressed). In prior albums in which the hard screaming was most prevalent and the old fanbase of ffaf still reside, most of the screaming was done by backing vocals instead of Davies. Overall Davies is beginning to use his voice and lead the vocals instead of hide behind the guitar riffs and drums, something not seen too often. // 8
Overall Impression: Tales Don't Tell Themselves seem to be a reincarnate of Hours, and the 2000's version of the Offsprings "Smash" album, in that it's a quite detailed push towards mainstream marketing, and also being an Atlantic Records release, the record was expected to be very mainstream oriented with a detailed production, unlike the very harsh (sound-wise) productions of Casually Dressed and Seven Ways to Scream Your Name, which coupled with the bands vocals gained their initial notoriety. Unfortunately, if you're an fan of the hardcore ffaf then the album may touch your fancy depending on your other band preferences but, the album is a quick listen as you don't notice anything whilst listening to it. That said Tales don't Tell Themselves may take awhile to grow on people, but FFAF has grown out of their roots, and are in search of a new sound, which they have yet to settle on. // 8
Tales Don't Tell Themselves
unregistered, on may 29, 2007 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album seems to be about reinventing the band and trying to break away from the sound that made them what they are. Long gone is the screaming of 'This years most open heartbreak' or the mosh anthem tendencies of 'The art of american football'. Instead replaced with songs like 'One for the Road' and 'Walk Away'. They may be progressing and changing but the change is so drastic. I personally really liked 'Hours' and thought it was a good second album from 'CDADIC'. 'All the rage' was a storming opener and everythin but 'Sonny' was great. This is not the case on this album. Although, I wont take away from the fact the album does sound really good and Matt Davies has never sounded better vocally. // 5
Lyrics: For a concept album the lyrics do work well though I tend to listen to lyrics based on one song, I don't relate them to each other. For example, on the 'The Great Wide Open', Davies sings 'Soul Soldier with your gun held high, Where does the crow fly?' This lyric stands out as part of the concept while flowing with music and painting a good picture. 'All Hands On Deck' is one of the better songs on the album with the instant vocals and guitar working nicely, Davies singin about the sea and storm. I have always been a fan of the lyrics Davies pens, and this album is really no different. I would just prefer them sung with more passion and set to rougher, edgier music. // 8
Overall Impression: This is a step back from 'Hours' in my opinion. I feel they found thier sound perfectly on that album, minus some screaming from Ryan. It had the fast, intricate guitar work, good drumming and it contains some of the best material they have written. that's not to say this is a bad record, it is a solid album full of 'good songs'. It just seems like they have changed their target audience and written music to appeal to them. If you want to listen to a song that sums them up, find 'You Want Romance?' and that is what defines them, in my opinion. If this was lost or stolen, I would buy it again purely to keep up my discography and make sure I have all their CDs. // 2
Tales Don't Tell Themselves
PunkRocka182, on may 30, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: First things first, many people hate this album. It is a real advance on the old FFAF and if you want to stick to the classic "scream the verse, sing the chorus stuff" don't buy this album. It shows a much more mature side of funeral for a friend, and personally I like it! This album is a concept album (which may put some audiences off) where each song tells a tale. Most of it, you can tell from listening, is written about a man lost at sea and wondering what is going on back home and whether he will ever get home. This album has a less metal sound than the other FFAF albums and EP's. It is leading towards a classic rock sound. // 9
Lyrics: I think the lyrics on this album are brilliant! Some times on concept albums you will get lyrics that are just written to fit into a story. However on this album, I think that the lyrics have been very carefully written and therefore live up to FFAF's brilliant reputation. The singing on this album is also much more mature. Vocal range is used which adds to the quality of the album. // 10
Overall Impression: This is a very large departure for Funeral for a Friend. This is a very studio heavy album, but having seen the band play some of this album live I would say it works well in concert too. "Into Oblivion" and the 2 parts of "All Hands on Deck" are the best songs on this album. They are infectious tunes that have choruses that you will be humming for days. Points that I do not like on this album are the songs that get a little to "pop" for my liking like "Walk Away". Whilst I like the fact that this album is something new, I think that this is untrue to FFAF. If I lost this album I would probably buy it again as it is a very good album. Thanks FFAF! // 8
Tales Don't Tell Themselves
Simon Acreman, on may 15, 2007 0 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: After starting up as a welsh post-hardcore band creating a middle ground, Funeral for a Friend tear up what's gone before and betray old-school fans by taking a 'pop-rock' route. They take experimentation to the extreme, or perhaps they're trying to break into mainstream rock fans so they can fill their overflowing wallets with more dosh. The terms 'post-hardcore' and 'concept album' together do not bode well. And the combination of 'concept' and the total change in sound do not leave a pleasent taste in the mouth. // 2
Lyrics: Matt sings as well as he has done before, but the lyrics have taken the same dire, EMOtional route that the music has. I'm not particularly a lyrics person, but this sounds more whiney than ever, although they do fit the U2/Coldplay sound they've opted for. Don't even go there. // 2
Overall Impression: Compared to previous albums, it has been overly dumbed down to catch a wider audience and earn more money for an already enormously popular band. Even other similar artists dare not take the same route that the once kings of british post-hardcore have taken. Rated by many magazines very highly even dubbed 'their best album yet', it will mortify original fans. After a good start, we have been let down. What do I love about it? Nothing. what do I hate? Everything. I wouldn't pick it off the shelf, and I advise true Funeral for a Friend fans to take the same action. They are no longer true FFAF. // 2
Tales Don't Tell Themselves
unregistered, on may 25, 2007 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The one thing I will say about this album is that the production is awesome, there's a big orchestral influence in this album, which could've worked very well, but in this case it didn't. The first time I heard these guys they blew me away. Powerful riffs, powerful lyrics and a nice balance between some hard rock and a more chilled emo sound. Seems to me they've totally thrown the hard rock aspect out of the window. When I first started listening to this album I thought I put Bryan Adams in my CD player by mistake, the music is total pop rock. I don't know if they're doing this as a marketing move, trying to build a bigger fan base, or just maturing their sound, but I don't like it at all. // 3
Lyrics: The vocals have always been good and Matthew does a really good job on this album, very unique vocals, I do miss the screaming though. The lyrics to me are a bit too emo, when I listen to a record I want a good balance between feel good songs, emo songs and songs that make you wanna break everything around you. This albums stays on one level, there's not much diversity at all. // 4
Overall Impression: All in all I'd say this album was a huge disappointment for me. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this album, when I heard the first song I thought they just wanted to build the album up slowly, when the second song came nothing had changed and by the beginning of the third song I had to press eject. Not that I haven't listened to the whole album but at that moment I couldn't believe what I was hearing! To me by the time you've finished listening to this album you feel depressed and that's not what Funeral for a Friend were before. Well to me at least. // 3