Review Summary: A winner of a combination, will not be disappointed.
I've always been a fan of Falling Up (would you believe that Tom Cox used to be my guitar teacher?), and as the years have gone by, their sound has definitely matured, while maintaining their own unique sound. When Falling Up announced the Machine de Ella Project and a dual-album release, I was excited, and I downloaded Hours immediately, being a fan of sci-fi and all.
Like 2009's Fangs!, Falling Up's other sci-fi/story album, this contains self-referential lyrics that play back into the main story. Unlike Fangs!, though, this one comes with an audiobook so you can listen along and understand the references. Tracks like The Contract, The Climb, and Finn Hatches a Plan, are very reminiscent of Your Sparkling Death Cometh, their previous album. Other tracks like Aeva and the Waving World, Blue Ruins, Intro to the Radio Room, and Prillicians, are much more grounded in proud and thumping melodies.
Downsides? Transmission is not that powerful of a song when held in comparison to the others, In Echoes Forever has a weird tempo that's hard to follow along with, and On Growing Things is a much better ballad than The Rest Will Soon Follow.
This album has some great stuff on its own with catchy choruses, recognizable melodies, and a proud image that doesn't come across as pretentious or cocky. The audiobook is worth a listen, too. It has a few pacing problems and minor plotholes, but it's a great listen, too, and shows how much a writer Jessy really is at heart.