The Hours - Narcissus Road

Any regular listener of radio station, XFM Manchester should recognise this name from the amount of advertising spent on The Hours debut single, ‘Back When You Were Good’. But just because they can afford this publicity tells us nothing about how good their debut album ‘Narcissus Road’ is.

It’s hard to see what kind of band The Hours are from Narcissus road. They have the piano ballads of someone like Keane (‘Back When You Were Good’) mixed up in the thuggish feel of Ocean Colour Scheme (‘Ali in the Jungle’). This idea of mixing genres either works brilliant of fails completely.

Lyrically, there a great deal of quotes from the world’s history in the album, listeners of the album will easily be able to pick up on characters such as bible revival, Lazareth, genius classical composer, Mozart and country singer Johnny Cash. All these people with several more have cleverly been placed in the album to give a bit of culture. ‘Love You More’ also has some great lines in it such as ‘I love you more than my Adidas trainers/ if you knew me better you’d know how much that mean.’

Narcissus Road has some fairly good moments. It offers some great standalone tracks such as ‘Icarus’ and ‘People Say’ with their dreamy anthem-like feel. Furthermore, the album’s title track has an incredibly catchy chorus and brilliant lyrics that leave you singing ‘Narcissus Road’ for a while after hearing it. The album also contains experimental track ‘I Need to Know’ that shows off The Hours ability to sometimes be a little bit different.

On the other hand, there are also some awful moments in the album: ‘I Miss You’ feels like a very bad Coldplay song that never seems to finish. ‘Dive In’ is another wrist-slitingly bad track that just feels so unnecessary in the album. Also, every track in the album has a piano playing, this gives the song a similar feel that could be easily got rid of by switching to keyboard or, in some cases, taken out completely.

But the bottom line with the Hours is that they are just another Indie band that can easily be replaced. They will not change music and I doubt them creating a vast fan base. The Hours are a band that many of us will love from a distance.

James Bingham

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