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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 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 21, 2012
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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on March 13, 2012
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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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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on September 27, 2012
I am one of the many who first heard Too Close and fell in love with the sound. I have been listening to that song multiple times per day for a while now and it still gives me some....feeling that I can't quite explain. It just kind of energizes me with the beat. The bass. His voice. The lyrics. I decided to look up some other songs and realized he is more than just a one hit wonder. Song after song I loved. Some more than others yes but I did enjoy them all in different ways. He can dig into your heart with a ballad, make you want to punch something with the beats, or make you run around in circles in ecstasy.

I'm thankful that artists with pure talent are coming to the forefront of the music industry. An artist isn't talented because computers makes their voice sound nice. Alex Clare is talent, smooth, powerful. Check out some of his acoustic stuff as well. I spend a lot of time in my car driving and I know it will be tough to pick between this album and my audiobook (and I'm to the good part!)
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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 August 6, 2012
I heard "Too Close" on the radio and just had to download it. I had a listen to the whole album on and immediately fell in love. As much as I enjoyed "Too Close," it's not even the best song on the album. "Up All Night" and "Humming Bird" are fantastic. It's all great stuff. I can't wait for Alex Clare to tour in the area. It's one I will not miss. Run, don't walk, to your computer to download 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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on January 2, 2013
I bought this album because it was $3.99, and I really liked "Too Close." However, after listening to the album once, all the songs seemed to blur together--it all sounds the same to me. I do like the techno-dance feel and influences, though.
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