Sound — 8
I've noticed a great deal of divided opinion on exactly which genre Funeral For A Friend fall into, and if anything; this album will certainly divide those opinions further. Fans will probably have noticed the change of tone the band have now adopted, and generally more simple issues expressed in the lyrics. The 'Streetcar' single or the 'Lazarus' B-side definately show this change, and the rest of 'Hours' itself is not too different. Every track on the album has a similar feel to it as 'Streetcar', though you'd be surprised be the unfamiliar lack of distortion in a lot of songs. According to Funeral For A Friend, 'Hours' would be a "proper album, of pace, structure, mood and sentiment" but these factors only seem to have softened the sound and simplified the guitar parts.
Lyrics — 6
Matt hasn't changed his style; I'd have to say his voice is one of the most familiar aspects of the album. However, as previously mentioned - the majority of songs on the album are similar to 'Streetcar' (most are even softer) which means from memory the only track featuring the infamous screaming of Ryan (the drummer) is 'End Of Nothing' and basically; Matt doesn't scream at all. The lyrics on every song mainly focus on relationships and are expressed very literally which means you shouldn't be anticipating any more 'Art Of American Football's from now on.
Overall Impression — 6
Funeral For A Friend claim 'Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation' was not "a proper album" but in comparison to 'Hours' I wholeheartedly disagree. Darren has taken his turn to play all the hard stuff in this album. Where Kris plays surprisingly simple chord sequences; Darren manages to entertain which a great deal of tapping. I'd have to say 'History' is my favourite track of the album though I'm sure most would disagree, the whole song is undistorted but proves some good has come from FFAF's sudden change of sound. "We wanted to make a record that had no sense of compromise, of 'middle ground'," smiles guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts. "Something people would either really love or hate, that no-one would feel 'wishy-washy' about." 'Hours' has its positive features but really signifies the end of one era for FFAF, they seem to have matured and now left their heavier roots. Be prepared for a more gentle, more simple and slightly less clever album that probably could be decribed as 'emo'.