Sound — 8
The Hours don't have a unique sound but they have a sound that transcends the divides that separate music and cultures. Their new album It's Not How You Start, It's How You Finish combines ambient traits with dance-club rhythms and synth pop conflagrations. Featuring the duo of vocalist/guitarist Antony Green and keyboardist Martin Slattery. The Hours weave complementing synth-textured ringlets reflective of Coldplay with a chamber rock flare liken to Canada's The Dears. Produced by Flood (U2, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins), The Hours's It's Not How You Start, It's How You Finish, has the making of modern pop symphonies with vocals that soar to a rapturous pitch and music that elevate to orchestra status. The melodic rock shading of Ali In The Jungle and Big Black Hole have a dancehall-inspired rippling which transform into the rollicking grooves of These Days seamed in synth-imbued embers and twinkling violin-toned flutters. The chamber rock texture of Back When You Were Good combines elegance with a club-fringed glazing while the glistening ruffles of strings pleating I Missed You kindle a solemn mood that contrast the fiery discharges and pulsating swells of Icarus. The Hours are proficient at building up momentum and diffusing their conflagrations like in 1,000 Years with a skill reminiscent of People In Planes. The liquid-honeyed tones of the Come On are anchored in syncopated beats which turn to a glossy finish in See The Light. The track Narcissus Road protracts a funk-pop beating that shows hints of Motown, which change to a modern club shimmer in Never See You Again with a chillwave finish.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics can be as straight forward as I Missed You to being as profound as comparing an individual to the mystical figure of Icarus from Greek Mythology. In the band's track Icarus, Green reflects, I could understand why someone can go over to the dark side / Cause the devil, he's got all the tunes / Somebody once said if you're not living on the edge then you are taking up too much room. Green and Slattery have a penchant for taking ideas, lessons and influences from their past and applying them in a practical sense to life.
Overall Impression — 8
The Hours don't venture far from the wavy sells of atmospheric pop reflective of Coldplay and the chamber rock driven melodies liken to The Dears. It's Not How You Start, It's How You Finish is the group's third album following their debut effort Narcissus Road and their sophomore release See The Light. The Hours' current album is reflective of the times wanting to reach a wide audience and cultivating music that feels familiar to a majority of the world. It's an album that fits into many places in the world market, and has a sound that crosses the universe.