Memory And Humanity Review

artist: Funeral for a Friend date: 02/17/2009 category: compact discs
Funeral for a Friend: Memory And Humanity
Released: Oct 13, 2008
Genre: Post-Hardcore, Alternative Rock
Label: Victory
Number Of Tracks: 13
The album was released through the band's own record label Join Us in the UK, Victory Records in the US and Canada, and Roadrunner Records in the rest of the world.
 Sound: 6.5
 Lyrics: 7.3
 Overall Impression: 6.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (4) 19 comments vote for this album:
overall: 4
Memory And Humanity Reviewed by: StevoIRL, on october 22, 2008
1 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: Funeral For a Friend return with Memory And Humanity the bands eagerly awaited return from Tales don't Tell Themselves. They have promised a return to old form of Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation and Hours but sadly it seems that they have forgotten they had even made those albums. Memory And Humanity in short is very simple and this is a huge flaw considering FFaF are well known for their interesting riff's and melody's sadly almost all of these are lacking in this new album. When you listen to this album you'd almost swear that you would have heard it before. It is extremely generic and really apart from or two half decent songs the album fails to deliver. Darran Smith really struggles to live up to any of his previous songs, while you get a song like To Die Like Mouchette, You Can't See The Forest For The Wolves and which have a brilliant riffs and melody's to it you get songs like Rules and Games, Kicking and Screaming and Someday the Fire... which mains riff's are just power chords played with Kris's extremely annoying single note picking. Now power chord riff's are grand songs like Storytelling, Waking Up and Novella have great power chord riff's but what separates them from this is that you have more complex riff's used beside them. In the end you get extremely lazy musicianship here. // 4

Lyrics: Now I'll admit here I'm not a expert when it comes to lyrics so I wont rate them as it would be unfair. Vocals on the other hand are perfect, Matt Davies has been long one of FFAF's main strong points and he delivers yet again, his tone is great and is a high point in what is a very mediocre album. Though he does force his vocals on some songs like Waterfront Dance club and You Can't See The Forest For The Wolves. // 5

Overall Impression: Overall this album is a great disappointment if you thought that FFAF would make a record like Casually Dressed or Hours you'll be in for a disappointment. There is a serious lack of what made FFAF appeal to the everyone and a step towards sounding very radio friendly. Now here's were the line has to be drawn, sell out is a word that is over used on UG but sadly it has to be used here as this is big example of a band changing styles completely and forgetting what made them a bloody good band. The counter argument is that oh well they are maturing etc but just listen to a song such as Maybe I am? and you ll relise that this album could of been made by a bunch of 14 year olds. People who didn't like Tales wont like this album at all. Really I wouldn't recommend this album at all unless you like generic music that all sounds the same, their is a serious lack of drive and power in this album and just sounds god damn awful compared to their last 3 albums. Sorry FFAF but your credibility as musicians seems to have run dry with this latest effort. // 3

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overall: 9
Memory And Humanity Reviewed by: Fool Dominhated, on october 23, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Around one year and a half after the exit of "Tales Don't Tell Themselves", Funeral For To Friend return on the scene with their new album "Memory And Humanity". Even if "Tales Don't Tell Themselves" has reached the tallest position ever reached by the Funeral in the UK Album Chart (3rd position), it also needs to say that it has been the album less sold of the Funeral. This because of the direction that the Funeral have adopted for doing "Tales Don't Tell Themselves", both in the lyric, because it was the first concept album of the Funeral, regarding the history of a shipwrecked sailor; both in the sound that detached him from the old style, that is post-hardcore and screamo, for a more sound alternative-classic rock. The greatest part of the old fans of the Funeral didn't like this change. Closing this introduction, we enter the heart of the new album "Memory and Humanity", departing from the fact that the Funeral with this album they have returned to the their old sound, and instead establishes itself as the true successor to Hours, and this can be noticed both from the three singles (Waterfront Dance Club, Beneath The Burning Tree and Kicking and Screaming) extracts before the exit of the album, and from the first track "Rules and Games", for then to reinstate him for all through the album. "Memory and Humanity" it contains the whole repertoire of the Funeral, in fact in the album they are present ballads rock (Building, Charlie Don't Surf), songs post-hardcore (Ghosts, You Can't See the Forest For the Wolves), songs Alternative rock (To Die Like Mouchette, Kicking and Screaming) etc., all of this without totally eliminating what of good had been done in the preceding album, that is the good melodic part of the songs, both in the composition of the sound and in the tonality of the voice of Matt Davies. It also needs to remember that even if the line-up of the band is changed in "Memory and Humanity", after the departure of Gareth Davies and the arrival of Gav Burrough, the album has been completely writing and recorded with the share of Gareth Davies. Throwing the sums, we can say that the Funeral to have returned to the origins, but also making a footstep in before, evolving the old sound, influencing it with the sonorities of "Tales Don't Tell Themselves", or to express more clearly me, "Memory and Humanity" it is the worthy successor of "Hours" and not of "Tales Don't Tell Themselves", it is slightly influenced by the melodic vein of this last. Thing other to say... Welcome back Funeral For To Friend! // 9

Lyrics: As it regards the lyric, the Funeral return to the old canons, that is to songs incentrate mainly on emotions, and the experiences and the memories of the members of the band, and of the humanity that is practically nonexistent in our society, and asking ourselves if it exists really a God, and striving ourselves to believe in something to keep on living, this is already enough evident from the title of their album. They detach songs as: "Kicking and Screaming" that it speaks of the memories of the life passed in the native city, trying to grow in different way from the rest of the people, not as heroes remembered of the history, but as true people; You Can't See The Forest For The Wolves in which speaks of the moral growth of a person, seeing that in the institutions and in the society, there is not anything in which to believe, reflecting on this, asking to the life to give us something in which to believe really; Building in which is waited that God arrives to help usBut he never comes around, He never comes around; To Die Like Mouchette inspired by the film "Mouchette" of Bresson, of which I have pleasantly remained impressed, as lover of the good old European cinema like that of Bresson, to understand the lyric I recommend you to see the film. I don't want to dwell further as it regards the lyric, because they are all very beautiful ones, and they are to mine modest to seem, the part better than the whole album. This to also show a moral growth of the band. As it regards the sung of Matt Davies, there is not anything to be said, as usual perfect technically and evocative as always. // 10

Overall Impression: Without shade of doubt a good album, the impressions that I have had on "Memory and Humanity" they have been all excellent ones, beginning from the return to the origins of the sound, to the moral growth of the band, to the excellent lyrics and the composition of a very various album but always of good level. In short I won't have had the same impressions of when I have listened for the first time "Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation", but surely of when I have listened for the first time "Hours", and perhaps also more. I recommend this album to everybody, but in particular way I recommend it to the fans that are detached from Funeral For A Friend because of "Tales Don't Tell Themselves". // 8

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overall: 5
Memory And Humanity Reviewed by: AngryGoldfish, on february 17, 2009
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: I have been ignoring my conscience for the last two months concerning this album, Memory and Humanity by Funeral for a Friend, and I have been avoiding the idea of reviewing it persistently. But at the same time, I've had this odd yearning towards the same intent and idea, and yes, that probably makes me a very nasty person, but what the hell, eh? As this is one of the worst albums I have ever owned, from one of the greatest bands I have ever known, I fear the thought of digesting it any further. But the need to explicate my direct emotions in a plain and simple manners grabs my testicles tighter than any concern I have for myself. I know that sounds cheesy and utterly dramatic, but in a way, that very process is an effective tool in which to express the similar directions FFAF have decided to take. Characterless and drab are the most keen words opening my mouth so violently at this point in time. Not only is the recording altogether safe sounding, it absolutely pulls no punches or tricks, that are supposed to involve the mind of the listener. It plays like it's been written by a group of people who don't care for music at all. Who just write albums as it's their job, because they're paid good money to do it. And there is this galling worry that the crew behind Memory and Humanity actually just want to get home to watch the Manchester play Arsenal match. When you compare this to Tales Don't Tell Themselves, a record that faced similar, aggravating quibbles from the die-hard fans of the 2003-2006 era, and which also felt a little stale and insipid, you are still conscientious of the cute attraction for that particular piece compared to this piece of nonsense. I even feel guilty examining the two albums together like this as Memory and Humanity pales in comparison, it really does, and I wasn't even much of a fan of Tales... (I found it to be pretentious and a little cheap in parts. But it was still decent enough to warrant the money for the CD and for the accompanying show in Dublin) // 4

Lyrics: You Can't See The Forest For The Wolves - This is the title for the track that is about the only moderately impressive thing FFAF have released. I don't really need to say much more. Once again, it's unfair to compare the likes of Hours (their second LP) to this, but it may be the only way I can fully entertain you enough to believe me. Look at the intensity of the words from Roses for the Dead and She Drove me to Daytime Television (from Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation - arguably their most momentous moment) and simply place it beside To Die Like Mouchette and Kicking and Screaming? Yes, the lyrics are not bad (in fact, they're quite intelligent and experienced), but the title's are just atrocious. I have always been an avid fan of the overwhelming and potent sense of desperation and honesty in Funeral for a Friend, but I don't feel emotion from these words at all, even though they are clearly more acute and more thought out. The energy is gone, in other words. Maybe, because of how the music is so lame, the lyrics have then suffered accordingly? I don't know for sure, but I do know it does happen in this industry regularly, where either the music or the lyrics take the back seat, as the worst of the two takes control and forces negativity upon the reader, never allowing them to enjoy anything individually. A disappointment, but not a failure. // 6

Overall Impression: The awful album art, the self-absorbed song titles, the lifeless guitar tone, the barren, yet grating voice, the basic drum beats, the overused song structures, the sad attempts at sounding different, the tasteless themes - it's all part of this magnificent waste of clear talent and prestige. Beneath The Burning Tree - listen to it, and try and force yourself not to laugh at the crummy, rip-off riffs, unfortunately reminiscent of Iron Maiden and Biffy Clyro - two fantastic bands with boundless vitality. Someday The Fire... - listen to it, and try and force yourself not to cringe, or bring about crows feet a little too early for your age. Waterfront Dance Club - listen to it, and try to ignore the mushy and unnatural recording and song writing. Listen to Constant Illuminations and Constant Resurrections... actually don't bother, just read the titles and walk away. You're not missing much, anyway. Constant Illuminations is a good track but doesn't fit the album at all. Rules and Games - ignore the hilariously piteous intro build-up and the corny chorus, and you don't have a bad song. It has a few quirky rhythms and interesting breakdowns, so it's not all bad news on the 'Funeral Front'. Kicking and Screaming sounds so much like other bands it's laughable, yet, it's crap. To Die Like Mouchette - I quite like the chorus melody, it has a nice charm to it. Just stay away from the repetitions, vexing riff and the accompanying inconspicuous title... which are in fact, all major segments to a song, so you're kind of screwed on all fronts, really. When Maybe I am comes through the speakers, you have, for a few seconds, a change in pace and a break from the hokum, but unfortunately, everything returns to it's overtly joyous and sanctimonious self quite quickly. Building sounds like a bad rendition of a Feeder track. Charlie Don't Surf reminds me of someone arrogantly dropping by a jam session and rudely putting out the idea that they should do a soft song, you know, to break up the album? It's entirely constrained, in other words. That said, it's not a terrible track in itself, like it's following Ghosts and the ending Constant Resurrections If you are hoping for a return to flavour, you will be even more let down than you were with Tales Don't Tell Themselves. This a dead band, or more importantly, this is a dead album, I haven't put FFAF out to the dustbins quite yet. Besides, three downright awesome albums, one I am indifferent towards, and one useless, regurgitated slush of noise is not all that bad. I'm hopeful that in the next few years, there will be a rediscovery and they will entice out the bristling and down to earth energy that was so evident in their EP Seven Ways to Scream your Name. I'm watching this space... // 5

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overall: 9
Memory And Humanity Reviewed by: mikeybr91, on november 03, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, here we are at Funeral For a Friend's 4th album. This is probably their most important record yet, because after the mighty disappointment of Tales don't Tell Themselves, they had to pull something out of the bag to set their careers back on the uphill. Fortunately, this record is definitely good enough to do just that. The band have dropped the Pop Rock/80s style they used on Tales and gone on to yet another new sound. This time around, they almost sound like a mixture of Their first album, Hours, and something new. This new element is most prevalent on songs like "Maybe I am?" and "You Can't see the Forest for the Wolves". It's pretty unique, and hopefully the band can develop even further into it on their next record. This is definitely their most innovative record to date, because though Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation was a near perfect album, it was almost like a perfect cliche - it didn't branch out much from the genre, just did everything better than any other band doing the style. Anyways, the band are definitely on to something with this record and once they tour it and it catches on, will probably elevate them to new levels of popularity. // 9

Lyrics: Matt Davies lyrics have always been a lot more intelligent than most modern rock bands, but here he's branched out, probably due to being a lot more free now the band are using their own record label. Not a single complaint lyrically, and his singing has definitely improved a lot as well, as can be heard on tracks like "Waterfront Danceclub" (although possibly the weakest song on the album, Matt really shows his vocal range and ability in this track), and he's also gotten a lot more catchy with his vocal melodies. A highlight of this album - although equally emotional to the first two records, there is no whining about failed relationships or other self pitying elements. Davies lyrical focus has shifted to larger issues, it seems. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm going to give a lowdown on each track: 01.Rules and Games: probably one of the bands best songs right off the bat. Nothing amazingly unique or different going on in this track, but the chorus and the bridge after the second chorus are almost melodic perfection (as in, they're really f--king catchy and uplifting). It's a very upbeat song, similar to Casually Dressed in vibe, heaviness and melody. 9/10. 02.To Die Like Mouchette: again one of the bands best tracks to date and a very poppy song, but it also manages to stay within the bounds of the record and is anything but generic. The chorus is extremely chant-along, and catchy. This is joint with "Someday the Fire" for my second favourite track on the record. 10/10 03.Kicking and Screaming: although a terrible choice for a single, being the poppiest and most "Tales don't tell Themselves" song on the record, this is still a decent song with a good chorus and bridge. Just not what the band should really be doing, their at their best with their more unique and offbeat songs. 7/10 03.Constant Illuminations: probably the second heaviest song on the record, this song is a great blend of heaviness and catchiness, with interesting guitar work throughout. The chorus is great. The "spirit dies within" section is very welcome as it contains the first part of Ryan Richard's screaming on the record, an element missing from their last two records. 8/10 04.Maybe I am?: my favourite track on this record. A great combination of a thudding, melancholic verse and an upbeat, catchy, emotional chorus. Awesome lyrics, great riffs, and a fantastic bridge. 10/10 05.You Can't See the Forest for the Wolves: this is definitely the heaviest and most interesting song on the record, with a clean intro which then blazes into an extremely heavy verse riff and a wall of sound chorus. This song is similar to "Bullet Theory" in that it branches out from the record at the right moment and is one of those songs you could only associate with FFAF. 8/10 06.Building: a very strong ballad, although as many people have said, could do with a little bit more meat, as in, another guitar line, maybe made a little longer and add some drums in there. But this is another emotional song, I'm assuming about the hopelessness of being poor/homeless ("tin can in hand, waiting for god to come around"). 7.5/10 07.Beneath the Burning Tree: the most "pop punk" song on the record, this is quite the marmite song - you'll either love it or hate it, because it's generic - but extremely well done. Personally I think it's great, with a catchy chorus and an even catchier second half which pans into chants of "I sat beneath the burning tree/I never gave my world away, maybe I should... maybe I could". I'd give this song an 8/10. 08.Someday the Fire: joint with To Die like Mouchette for my joint second favourite, this is a very interesting song in that it's dynamic, sounds like it could have been on Casually Dressed, but is extremely catchy all at the same time. This track has the whole package as far as FFAF are concerned - great riffs, a great chorus, and a unique element which keeps it interesting and not generic. 10/10. 09.Waterfront Danceclub: this is the only moment where this album falters for me, with no real hook and generic riffs, although some may appreciate the heaviness, but it's made all the more disappointing by the fact that the intro gets you ready for a kick in the balls of a song, but fails to deliver. If they had screamed the entire song, I think it would be awesome, but instead there are vocal melodies throughout which don't really work. 6/10. 10.Charlie Don't Surf: a very unique and laid back song, which doesn't try too hard to be super melodic where it may have worked, but also has some great guitar lines and probably the best lyrics on the album. This song is actually kind of sentimental in that the melodies are very melancholic and emotional in parts, but also don't really try to tear jerk or whine. 7.5/10 11.Ghosts a song which is immediately reminescent of Hours, and would have fit perfectly on that record. However, this song is actually, in my opinion, better than anything on Hours. A song which seems to be about child abuse, this is a very powerful and heavy song, with a unique chorus, not trying to be melodic so much as have a wall of sound, as the melody is saved for the bridge, which is very melodic and heavy at the same time. 9/10. 12.Constant Resurrections: this song just misses the mark, in that it's a very interesting concept, but just misses out with a few parts which don't really work. However, I definitely hope they pursue something in this style in future, because there's potential for some epic material, which is hinted at in this song. Also, the last minute is a very good epic way to close the record. 7/10. // 10

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