Funeral for a Friend
Tales Don't Tell Themselves


2.5
average

Review

by Richard Craig USER (120 Reviews)
May 13th, 2007 | 31 replies | 21,319 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "If I was to be stranded on a desert island in the middle of the Atlantic and was only allowed one FFAF album this wouldn’t be the one that I would choose to keep; but the one that would be put out to sea."

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

It wasn’t all that long ago that Funeral for a Friend were playing the underground circuit of the UK. They have certainly come a long way from there. This, their third album, coincides with a tour of their native isle that sees them play some of the largest venues in the country including London’s Brixton Academy and Manchester’s Apollo Theatre amongst others. Each of their albums has seen FFAF evolve further: their 2003 debut-‘Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation’ had a more post-hardcore sound; 2nd album ‘Hours’ still had the hardcore leanings of ‘Casually Dressed …’, but ultimately was a more polished effort than its predecessor. ‘Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’ sees FFAF apply yet another layer of polish to their sound and the result is a solid, digestible rock album that despite being maybe not as strong as previous releases, is still a fairly good album in it’s own right.

The album begins with new single ‘Into Oblivion (Reunion)’, which after a short atmospheric, orchestral introduction (which actually sounds not too dissimilar to music you’re likely to hear before the news) gives way to an upbeat guitar solo of sorts. The solo is then imitated by Matt’s vocals later on in the track; but before that we have two verses and choruses, which sound just epic! Although it is a very strong start to the album, one major weakness of the album in general is already clear; and that is there is nowhere near as much going on in their music as on previous albums. This weakness is displayed across the album, with all the songs sounding like simpler and watered-down versions of older FFAF songs. Although this will understandably displease a fair amount of their fan base, many new fans will enjoy the (popular) rock stylings of tracks such as ‘The Diary’ and ‘The Great Wide Open’.

Although the vast majority of the album is disappointingly mediocre, there is the occasional strong track. In the middle of the album is a ‘two-part’ song, although to be honest they sound more like two separate songs, and the first part here is one of the best on the album. ‘Raise The Sail’ is still for the most part a standard rock song, but is far better than most of the songs on the album. It incorporates orchestral backing in the bridge section which makes it standout, and is generally a good, fast, upbeat song. It starts out with ‘sea-chanteyish’ vocals which displays the main lyrical theme of the album, and that is frontman Matt Davies’ fear of the ocean, and water in general. However, what is disappointing for an album about ‘fear’ written by what is ultimately a ‘post-hardcore’ band, is that the vocals aren’t dynamic enough for a genre that, at times, can be very passionate. The screams of Funeral’s past are gone, and it is very noticeable as the music doesn’t sound anywhere near as powerful as it once did. However, tracks such as ‘Out of Reach’ proves that screamed vocals aren’t required to make a good, powerful song, as it is by far one of the strongest songs here.

Generally the album is very monophonic, in that most songs are of similar paces and same ‘heaviness/mellowness’. ‘One For The Road’ is the first slow song on the album. It is ‘Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’ History off of ‘Hours’ if you will. This really says it all, as it just doesn’t match up at all. In fact it doesn’t come close. That’s not to say that it is a bad song, but it just doesn’t really leave much impression whatsoever. This can be said for much of the album. Aside from standout tracks such as ‘Into Oblivion (Reunion)’ and ‘Out of Reach’ the album as a whole is pretty unimpressive.

Despite this fairly big moan, the album ends fairly strongly with ‘Walk Away’ and ‘The Sweetest Wave’. ‘Walk Away’ is one of the more dynamic songs on the album with its quiet verse/loud chorus. It is made particularly interesting by the little piano melody in the chorus. The album ends with the slow moving ‘The Sweetest Wave’. It is generally very quiet with orchestral instruments and piano backing only in the verse. It speeds up in the last chorus ensuring that it didn’t just all build up to nothing. The final two songs end, what overall is a disappointing album, on a positive note.


Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’ is likely to gain more fans simply because it is more accessible than anything they have put out before. As well as picking up new fans, the band should maintain the majority of their already huge fan base. Despite the musical change ‘ TDTT ’ shouldn’t alienate too many as it is still a good enough album to satisfy some fans. However, it is arguably FFAF’s weakest album to date as when compared to older Funeral For A Friend albums it is very generic indeed. If I was to be stranded on a desert island in the middle of the Atlantic and was only allowed one FFAF album this wouldn’t be the one that I would choose to keep; but the one that would be put out to sea.



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user ratings (409)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
dreamlessblood
May 13th 2007



8 Comments


Good review, I enjoyed it.

I don't even like ffaf. Some of the oldest album songs were bearable, but my hands won't be ever going near this CD.

craigy2
May 13th 2007



551 Comments


thanks. i wouldn't recommend getting this album, unless you're a 'completist' or like what you hear on their myspace.

Understanding In a Crash
May 13th 2007



427 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, I agreed with mostly what you said.

To me this was even more disappointing simply because I liked the band so much back in the 'Casually Dressed' days. 'Hours' wasn't as good, but it wasn't definitely bad. It was an appropiate release for them but this album basically makes me wonder if this band will even be around for another album.

It simply sounds like they don't care anymore.

byrkee
May 13th 2007



80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

actually a good review, but i wished you liked it more.

ToWhatEnd
May 14th 2007



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked the review and you pretty much sum up my opinion perfectly. I still want to know what is up with three of my favorite bands in post hardcore, Thrice, Thursday and Funeral For A Friend going for more atmospheric releases on their third or fourth full lengths. Not that I'm complaining because none of them have been bad IMO, but it's just an interesting trend. I'm giving this a few more listens to see if it grows at all but they have failed to make an album as good as CCADIC thus far.

byrkee
May 14th 2007



80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think thrices and thursdays new stuff is their best so far, but i like hours better than cdadic, im getting this tomorrow. its supposed to be a grower, and i heard its better on the stereo.

Mikesn
Emeritus
May 14th 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They surprised me with Seven Ways to Scream Your Name, but I didn't like this too much...

ToWhatEnd
May 14th 2007



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i think thrices and thursdays new stuff is their best so far, but i like hours better than cdadic,
Let's just say you and I have FAR different opinions friend :chug:This Message Edited On 05.14.07

byrkee
May 14th 2007



80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol cheers

Confessed2005
May 16th 2007



3314 Comments


I'd have to say that to me, it looks as if the band has steadily gone downhill since Seven Ways To Scream Your Name.

Casually Dressed... was an excellent album however, but Hours was flawed and I doubt I would enjoy this in the slightest.

Good review though.

Gilly-Maloo
May 16th 2007



103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really like this album, FFAF have seemed to have dropped their emo label more, and entertain us (if not, me at least) with some decent alternate rock.

Cesar
May 16th 2007



2732 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is the first FFAF album I ever heard, and I really liked it. It kind of goes down a litle twards the end, but exellent nevertheless.

byrkee
May 16th 2007



80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the ending songs are better.

craigy2
May 16th 2007



551 Comments


yeah they are

soldyoursoul
May 24th 2007



54 Comments


I haven't heard it yet, but I'm not a fan of Hours so I doubt I'll like this. I only liked them they were post-hardcore. Many bands seem to be going mainstream and soft. :

Tyler
Emeritus
May 24th 2007



7926 Comments


if you haven't heard it DO NOT RATE IT

Monticello
May 24th 2007



805 Comments


^^That really goes without saying.

byrkee
May 29th 2007



80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i guess its people like him that explain why all of ffaf album ratings are so lower than they should be.

byrkee
June 21st 2007



80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

how do i do a review?

Willie
Moderator
July 17th 2007



15911 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They lost what little edge they had... this is stereotypical radio rock crap... they're now lost in a sea of bands that all sound the same...

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae



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