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Showing 1-10 of 158 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 195 reviews
on July 31, 2012
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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on April 16, 2012
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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on August 10, 2012
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.

What bounds Clare's album together is his intense and soulful vocal delivery. I would recommend THE LATENESS OF THE HOUR to listeners interested in alternative music -- there's plenty of material here for people to love. The album is an incredibly enjoyable listen that proves to be remarkably consistent. Essential tracks to sample/download: "Too Close," "Hands Are Clever," and "Up All Night." Don't miss out on this album.
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VINE VOICEon February 1, 2013
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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VINE VOICEon December 22, 2012
Sometimes I hear one song I love, buy the album, and find that one song is the only attraction. Then there are albums like this one that I buy for one song, and the whole thing blows me away. Clare's voice and the music throughout are a perfect combination of funky and soulful.

Regardless of how good a voice and the accompanying music are, for me to love an album, the lyrics need to make me feel something. And that's the final piece that makes this album perfection. Each song transports me to the place and mood within the story being told.
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on October 24, 2013
Alex Clare's thougtful lyrics are matched with hypnotic dance beats that made me want to listen to this on repeat all day long. "Too Close" was the big hit from this album helped along by the cool video of the kendo sword fight, but the rest of the songs are just as good. The songs range from the upbeat "Up All Night" and "Treading Water", to the angst filled "Relax My Beloved", to the fun "Hummingbird".
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on September 10, 2012
Don't worry that the breakout single Too Close is the only song with dubstep, and this is your typical "one hit wonder" type of CD. But then, not every song has dubstep, either. The first track, Up All Night, made my inner punk rocker happy, and the dark driving beats of Relax My Beloved spoke to the dark places in my soul. Of course the phenominal Too Close is just way too cool of a song. But I'm sure you already know that or you wouldn't be checking out this review. So far, the other song that really stands out to me is Whispering; a melancholy, twisting lullaby that sung me to sleep in my head the first night after hearing it. "The Lateness of the Hour" has usurped the much coveted "leave in the CD player to listen to whenever I feel like listening to something" that Florence + the Machine has long held. In other words, I highly recommend it and look forward to Alex Clare's follow up CD.
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on December 14, 2012
What a great album. Very cool and a great eclectic range of styles without being too out-there that it would pain me to get through a song. Nope that is not happening with the Lateness of the Hour... these are great songs to have running through your head as you go about your day. Meaningful lyrics with awesome tunes- deep yet still upbeat in its way. I like that.

"Be still my heart, I'm only a moment away..." from Relax my Beloved... with dub-step and violins.. you have love that combo!
Hummingbird... take what you need and leave rest... sweet voice, harmony and beats.
Treading water... lovely!
Tight Rope... keep on going on... Lift your head up again... yes!
The popular song Too close... is strong need I say more?
My favorite is Caroline... wow that piano it is good. But I had to purchase this apart from this album (unless I had an error in download?).

Try it (buy it) you will like it.

*I only wish I had better speakers, to maximize the energy felt from these tunes!

This music is Hot!
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on April 27, 2012
I, like most, heard Too Close on the internet explore commercial. my wife looked up the song, i listened a few times and then came back to this album yesterday. Alex Clare ROCKS!. I'm not big into Dubstep, but I love all types of electronic blends of music and especially when an artist or band blends different styles into one, Alex, along with Diplo and Switch (who produced the album) knock this out of the park. All the songs rock, with great soulful singing, mashed up with tremendous bass and synths that vibrate your ears or your speakers. Too Close is the standout track, but UP All NIGHT starts things off Great. The cover of When Doves Cry, is awesome as well.
it's a shame that most people think of dance or electronic is all pop (lady gaga, david guetta stuff) and yet, no promotions/marketing behind this album and it's a gem. Let's face it, most commercials these days have often some kind of dancy song and alot of times it's just a one time hit, but then if you dig a little deeper you can find a hidden Gem like Alex Clare- cannot wait to see what his next album and future music sounds like. Keep it up Alex, Diplo and Switch...Cheers!
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on August 11, 2012
I bought it after the commercial, and yes of course I did listen to the little tidbits of the songs that Amazon gives you. I opened the CD and it has blown me away!! all people who have gotten in my car this week have asked me what album it is, and where did I get it.
I am disappointed that the album was not thought of as a "great success" by the recording firm, but COME ON!! it is fantastic.. they just did not make enough publicity for people to hear it and try it out!
I do hope he keeps singing, his music is so rich, with the electronic in the front but always either a hint of jazz, or a hint of ethnic, always always a twist and his excellent vocals...
Allover, one of those great surprises that you never expected - a CD that you will love, every single song!
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