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The Lateness Of The Hour

4.6 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 8, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 album from the British singer/songwriter. Produced by Diplo [M.I.A., Madonna], Too Close is a potent and powerful anthem that properly introduces the world to this enigmatic singer and songwriter. It elegantly fuses pop, electronic, and garage with tangible touches of soul. The song's thumping bass morphs into a dubstep-infused break as CLARE elegantly croons an irresistible refrain. That chorus echoes a myriad of feelings, and it's already resonating with the world. Given its poignant heft and vivid lyrics, the track proved to be the perfect companion for Microsoft's new advertisement about Internet Explorer's ability to connect people. Award-winning director Keith Rivers actually handpicked Too Close; The ad celebrates the beauty of the web, and the song certainly possesses that same beauty and mass appeal. Everything cascades in unison for a truly unforgettable video. Running through June, the spot will be rolled out globally and is also currently running in movie theaters everywhere. It's a testament to the talent that CLARE possesses on his debut album, The Lateness of the Hour.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Republic
  • ASIN: B007SS7R30
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,689 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I like many people were drawn to hear more of Alex Clare's music from the Microsoft commercial. I was absolutely blown away by this whole album. I have been blown away by all the different sounds he brought with this album. My particular favorite song is I won't let you down. You will not be sorry if you purchase this album I know I don't regret it. I listen to this all the time.
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I guess the Pitchfork guys are going to storm my house and revoke my pretentious indie music lover card because I was one of the many who would have lived the rest of their lives without hearing the voice of Alex Clare if it wasn't for that IE commercial. Oh well, curiosity led me to where I needed to go, so now I present to you my review of the debut of the latest artist who -gasp- knows how to make good pop music.

Now, there are many reviews who will tell you that Clare's sound resembles what would happen if Adele took a heap of testosterone pills and added in wobble effects for the heck of it. While this provides a basic description, I think Clare's sound goes a bit deeper than that when you look at the tracks outside "Too Close". The dubstep aspects are there, but they rarely take center stage. Instead, they hang in the background, like a bassist in a rock band. They provide a sort of icing on the cake that is the rhythm without themselves becoming the melody.

As far as a complete package, however, the first 7 songs in my opinion make the album purchase worthy. I felt that the last 3 seemed to blend into each other too much and they really needed an aggressive upbeat song to punctuate them, but perhaps Clare will take notes from that on his next release.

Overall, it's an 8/10 album. It's an indie artist who never delves into the infectious pretension and indulgence of others, and I heartily recommend this to music lovers both hardcore and casual.
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I had never heard of Alex Clare until the day I researched him. I saw the commercial for Microsoft and thought I love that song. The song was "Too Close" I found out who the artist was and went on Amazon to see if he had an album. I was happy to see that he did. The album The Lateness of The Hour is fantastic.

He has the blend of Maroon 5 and Adele. He can do the fast number and then kill you with a tender ballad. I hope more people will give him a try. He is very talented. I love the album.
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Thank you England. Alex Clare's THE LATENESS OF THE HOUR is the best debut I've heard since Of Monster and Men's MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL. Now, I know that both of these albums were released in 2012, but hey, I can't help it if it's been a good year for music. Regardless of how good the year has been, British singer/songwriter Alex Clare's debut album is pretty fantastic. Originally released overseas in 2011, it's proving to be one of 2012's most successful and interesting debuts.

At this point, Clare is most famous for his song appearing in a commercial. The lead single "Too Close" has been featured in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 advertisement. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the attention that the commercial seems to be gaining is more due to the music than the actual advertisement. The song is quite characteristic of the album in many ways: the focus is on Clare's lyrics and soulful vocals. The melody is at the forefront of the song -- the electronic and dubstep instrumentation takes a backseat to the melody. Opening track "Up All Night" uses a tribal and rhythmic chant to propel it through its running time; it's one of the hardest hitting tracks on the album. "Treading Water" sounds similar to "Too Close," -- the dubstep influence is certainly clear -- but it's a great song in its own right. "Hands Are Clever" serves as a highlight for me; it's a track that flirts with R&B instrumentation and shoots for the moon with its catchy hook. The final track "I Won't Let You Down" is probably the most traditional of the tracks here. It's composed of Clare's vocals and an accompanying piano; it's a bare and organic ending to an album that feels slickly produced.
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Format: Audio CD
I expect most people will be drawn to Amazon for Alex's album due to Internet Explorer's commercial currently airing on television. This is frustrating since neither Amazon nor iTunes currently has anything available for purchase right now except the single or the album as an import. But once this album becomes readily available, people are going to be blown away by its brilliance. It's a must have. Alex, you rock! :)
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There is a soulfulness to Alex Clare's voice that cannot be ignored. In fact, when I first heard `Too Close' I actually thought it was James Morrison trying his hand at a more rock centered sound. Yes, Alex Clare delivers some depth to the proceedings by allowing a grovel and an honesty pierce his music. It isn't always enough to keep the album relevant, but for the most part `The Lateness of the Hour' proves to be a worthwhile endeavor for both Clare and us.

While `Too Close' certainly got our attention, it is in the softer, quieter moments that this album truly shines. Songs like `Relax My Beloved' and `Whispering' allow Clare to develop a deeper sound and more personal connection through the subtle music and his entrancing tone. Songs like `Up All Night' and `Humming Bird' develop the rock sound Clare is trying to establish (a notch below `Too Close' with catchier elements) and they prove successful as a whole. `Hands Are Clever' breaks up what feels like an almost too routine sound with some jazzy Southern charm. But there is where my main complaint for this album lies; it does sound very `matchy matchy'. The album sounds so `put together' with almost every track leading into the next with a sound that is very similar. While I understand that this can be a plus (at least it doesn't feel disjointed) it can also lead to a feeling of monotony. It doesn't help that some songs, namely `Tightrope', feel devoid of life.

Still, the highs here are worthy of note and really, Alex Clare does offer something interesting to modern music. His vocals have a very aged soulful sound, and his musical direction has a very modern progressive pop rock sound, so marrying the two together can produce something interesting. I look forward to where his career takes him. Despite some aforementioned issues (and the way he says `Sanctuary') I actually like this album, at least in parts, and recommend taking a peak!
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