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Finest Hour

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

Price: £11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Jun. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Exceptional
  • ASIN: B004ZOU1JC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,439 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

With an excess of review fodder dropping through the mail slot on a daily basis, it is always heartening to be presented with a release that does not fit neatly into standard categories. And the debut long player from Submotion Orchestra definitely is out on a limb of its own.

I can't say this electro-cum-nu-soul mishmash was really on my radar beforehand, save for a whiff of approval from Gilles Peterson for an early single. But I have since learned that the collective is based in Leeds, and came together partly in response to an Arts Council commission for a live dubstep work to be staged in Yorkminster Cathedral. Only happen in Britain, right?

At the core of the group is noted producer/DJ Ruckspin and drummer Tommy Evans of Gentleman's Dub Club. The supporting cast includes experimental jazz trumpeter Simon Beddoe, likeminded keyboardist Taz Modi (of Monkey See Monkey Do), salsa-fied percussionist Danny Templeman (who has worked with both Macy Gray and Andre Tanker), and London-based bassist Chris 'Fatty' Hargreaves. And the icing on the cake takes the form of vocalist Ruby Wood, whose sweet jazz and soul tones inject an aspect of melodic moodiness, despite often sounding at odds with the backing material.

Finest Hour has been cut in magnum opus mode, so there is no real break between tracks, giving the work a seamless quality, even as it drifts between genres. Broody opener Angel Eyes begins with full orchestration before dropping down to drum'n'bass basics; Back Chat starts out sounding like Richard Clayderman attacking Nadia's Theme, until raspy bass warbles soon remind that we are heading for the dubstep zone. Always has a pick'n'mix feel, and Hymn for Him has down-tempo minimalism; All Yours could be Sade gone acid, while Pop and Lock and Secrets merge skewered jazz and broken d'n'b to fine effect. And even if songs like Suffer Not and Finest Hour seem unnecessarily sentimental, the dub-wise element of each lends a sensation of infiniteness. By the time we reach the closing Perfection, the journey has been a quietly bewildering one, becoming only marginally more familiar on another spin.

Though I have not had the pleasure of seeing them perform yet, the unit are said to be able to skilfully replicate the experience live. If you have even a passing interest in dubstep or avant-garde jazz, this intriguing debut suggests the group as one to keep an eye on.

--David Katz

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By myx on 15 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
High quality speakers required to appreciate the whole spectrum of "butter wouldn't melt in your mouth" sound. Get the other album too.
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I bought Finest Hour on the back of the glowing reviews here plus its position in my recommendations, as a fan of Hidden Orchestra, Cinematic Orchestra, Bonobo and others. I normally listen to an album to death on Spotify before purchasing but this one isn't on there (only later did I realise that you can listen to pretty much the whole thing on Submotion Orchestra's website).

I love the ideas behind this album - and in some place the fusion of genres works very well but in total the album doesn't do it for me.

There are some highlights - Ruby Wood's voice for a start, and Hymn for Him is a great track, as is Backchat (although at times the piano part reminds me a little too much of Massive Attack's Weather Storm). But if I listen to the album all the way through I just start getting bored, which isn't what I want.

It's obvious that this album is quite polarising - some love it, others really don't take to it, so at the very least ensure that you listen to the album on their website before you purchase to avoid disappointment.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this album by mistake, and I have to say what a great mistake that was, I was looking for Andreya Triana and I thought this album had something to do with her as she is amazing (it hasn't).
I have to say this album is as silky smooth as "lost where I belong" by Andreya Triana but in my opinion it is a better album. Ruby Wood provides vocals that make you want to melt, if you like zero 7, Bonobo or Sia, I am sure you will love this.
This album starts with the very chilled out "Angel Eyes" and on first listen I expected that to be the theme of the album, a chilled late night Zero 7 like chill fest, but no. This album has more depth with upbeat numbers like "pop and Lock" that almost take you into a sort of jazz garage vibe (yes I made that up). The one thing that I keep thinking when listening to this album is that I should be in a very expensive, very cool bar in the coolest part of town drinking something I can't afford. This album is the best album I have heard all year, I haven't been this excited about an artist since I discovered Bonobo all those years ago. Now click that mouse and buy it!
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Format: MP3 Download
I discovered Submotion Orchestra while searching youtube for bands of the same caliber as Massive Attack. Submotion Orchestra's album Finest Hour did not disappoint. This is the perfect album for chilling late at night.
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Format: Audio CD
A sublime selection of jazz tinged, bass heavy, chilled out songs enhanced with the dulcet tones of Ruby Wood. Not since Portishead has an album moved me so much so quickly.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this after reading a really positive review in the London Metro one day. Finest Hour is a really chilled out, tuneful album wth some amazing vocals and really haunting melodies.. In this day and age of formulaic pop, its great to have something different to relax to. Recommended!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is such a beautiful album with some of the tracks which are just sublime - this is one of the best groups around well worth listening to and seeing them at the summer music festivals. Dont miss them!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are serious about Hi Fi, then this album should be in your collection. A great jazz infusion, with some serious bass. This is a top notch recording, just wish I could get it on vinyl.
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