Clock Opera – Ways To Forget (Deluxe Version)
Released: 23/04/2012 on Moshi Moshi/Island
Fans of Clock Opera have been waiting three years for this debut album release, and whilst I am sure many will appreciate their efforts in producing Ways to Forget, I am left feeling a bit ho-hum about it as a whole. They're a band that are trying hard to experiment and work on chopping up their synths and samples into poignant songs, but there are only a few songs that seem to achieve anywhere near the level that they’re aiming for.
The deluxe version has an immense 18 songs in total, and some are definitely what I would consider fillers – albeit, finely tuned fillers. The ones that I really grew to bore of though were the songs where they seem to be trying to sound like Coldplay; listen to ‘The Lost Bouys’ and ‘Lesson No. 7’ and try to argue that claim.
The funny thing is that I don’t dislike Clock Opera, and there are actually several songs which I did get into. The majority of the songs on this album have a very similar sound and the ones that I liked were the ones which had broken out of that formula. ‘A Piece of String’ is a decent mix of sounds fused together at different rhythms which actually manages to draw the listener in.
Another song I enjoyed was ‘Fail Better’ as it has a shuffling beat which works well with Connelly’s voice. This song picks up the pace at the right time before moving into the heavy synth finish which should work well in their live shows. ‘Seven Hours’ stands out in that the synth focus has been relaxed and the backing beat is more of a hushing wave-like sound. This fits the melodramatic lyrics well and is a calm contrast to the rest of the album. The songs ‘Glass Eye’ and ‘Move to the Mountains’ also show the potential that Clock Opera have to sing a decent indie ballad.
Rather than it being grower as many albums are, I actually ended up with a lower opinion of it than I did after the first listen. The songs don’t really meld well together and the mix of sounds flying around can be a bit overwhelming. I hope that their follow-up album manages to find out how to find this balance. As an interesting side note, the last song ‘Outro’ concludes with their synthy beats transformed into heavy trance - so perhaps this is a potential sign of the future direction Clock Opera will take.
Turn On: A Piece of String, Seven Hours, Fail Better
Turn Off: Lesson No. 7, The Lost Bouys, Alouette