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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Tales Don't Tell Themselves (UK CD)
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£3.40+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 25 January 2008
Okay, so Funeral For a Friend are a band that you either like, or you hate. It's that simple. Now I'm no authority on the emo-side of rock 'n' roll, but there was something that didn't sit right with me about the fact that Madina Lake's latest album has 5 stars from 33/35 of the reviewers, yet FFaF are struggling to achieve 4 stars?

Now let's get a bit of perspective here - the reason Madina Lake seem to be rated (as far as Amazon is concerned) above FFaF is for one reason: people who listen to FFaF, albeit involuntarily, know more about rock 'n' roll than people who (evidently) listen to Madina Lake. And if you don't believe that, consider this: people who don't like FFaF that much seem to feel the need to write reviews for FFaF albums than people who don't like Madina Lake albums. That's because FFaF are far more relevant than Madina Lake.

Now I'll tell you a truth: if you're looking for heavy rock or heavy metal, go some place else, okay? Funeral For a Friend are so far past the stage when they'd listen to people who moaned about the album version of 'Juneau' being worse than the LP that it's not even funny. Seriously, nobody cares. Sell out? Well hell, FFaF never even approached metallic legitimacy in the first place. Take your elitist emo tendencies and shove them.

Bottom line: what FFaF have created here is a soft rock album that appeals across the gamate of young/old, male/female. Not happy about that? Review something else. Maybe Madina Lake, for example.

I write this review because I feel FFaF have gotten a massively unfair rap. This album is as good as anything you'll hear by any other soft rock outfit. It's not prog. It's not meant to be. It's not heavy. It's not meant to be. It is, simply, quite superb soft rock. And it's quite epic in places. They don't have awful videos that chop and cut their music like 30 seconds from Mars, they don't have "we want to be emo" tendencies and yet fail like late Blink 182 albums, and they aren't as blatantly awful as Madina Lake.

So listen, in my opinion, if you want a superior soft rock album, by this. "Casually Dressed..." is slightly better, but what the heck. Buy them both. It's not that expensive. My advice: buy this album: FFaF can actually throw a riff, unlike half the dross that most of their fans listen to.

And this is from a metalhead.
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on 12 May 2016
A great album .... just such a shame the copy sent to me was distorted and unplayable, except in the car or on a home music system. It has that dreaded copying software. It would have been helpful if the seller had mentioned this little foible of the product. Caveat emptor indeed.
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on 19 August 2007
I got this album a month ago and haven't stopped listening to it. It's a lighter album than the previous two but don't let this put you off. The vocals are amazing. There is not a bad song on it and it flows along in some order rather than being thrown together. The band have definatley matured resulting in a superior sound and undoubtably appealling to a wider audience. Some reviewers have slated it saying they shouldn't be classed as rockers anymore. If your a bit more open minded and not pigeon holed into one type of music then i would strongly recommend it.
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on 14 May 2007
To be blunt, I found 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves' rather dull.

The notion of a concept album (particularly one with a nautical theme) could conjure resplendent images of 'The Ninth Wave' (K Bush). Sadly 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves' is far closer to 'Orinoco's Dream' (The Wombles). Funeral For A Friend have played this very safe, always having one eye fixed firmly on accessibility. The unfortunate fact is that the use of a large orchestra and a somewhat grandiloquent theme only manages to compound this albums basic failing: a lack of decent songs. The radio-friendly opener (Into Oblivion), the customary concept album two-parter (All Hands On Deck) and the prolix closing epic (Sweetest Wave) are the only tracks worthy of any effort. But even these slight peaks must yield to the sheer depths of the blandness that they punctuate.

This album regurgitates many past melodic themes but what is different here is the delivery. Gone is the raw angst of youth: in its place is the restrained refection of premature middle age. Funeral For A Friend's usually bold musicality appears torpid under the smothering production of Gil Norton. But take a look at his recent portfolio (Feeder, Foo Fighters, Counting Crows) and you would expect nothing more than predictable, nondescript rock. For me, this is most notable in the totally pedestrian drumming of Ryan Richards. This could be any third rate session musician. For those ready to suggest that this release highlights a maturity in the bands music I would simply assert that the very concept of artistic maturity is a vacuous idea. In their efforts to be taken more seriously, Funeral For A Friend appear to have tempered the rather impressive ire of their debut album. For me, 'Hours' was only ever occasionally pleasant. And now with 'Tales...' I can only presume that the band have collectively settled down and borne many children as such reverie can only come from a life more pastoral. I challenge anybody to swiftly follow 'Tales..' with a fresh listen of 'Casually Dressed...' and conclude otherwise.

Despite its many failings, I have no doubt that this album will be a huge success for the band. And there may even be a half decent West End musical in here somewhere...
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on 9 July 2007
In 2003 Funeral for a Friend released `Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation' their debut record and with its blend of soaring melodies, part screaming / part singing vocals and chugging power riffs launched this Welsh band into rock mainstream. 4 years have now passed and with there 3rd album `Tales Don't Tell Themselves' FFAF may just have released their finest work thus far.
Their last record `Hours' suggested that they where starting to evolve from the band that gave us `Juneau' and `The Art of American Football'. The hardcore breakdowns and jagged post- punk noise replaced with a more rounded, focused and overall more melodic sound; most noticeably the aggressive vocals making way to allow lead singer Matt Davies to stretch his singing range.

`TDTT' whilst being a concept album certainly does delivers the band's most mainstream material to date and therefore their most accessible album. As the record flows along, every song seems to fit perfectly next to each other and nearly all of them sound like they where written to be played in mammoth arenas with thousands of people raising their arms aloft whilst belting out the words. `On a Wire' is destined to become a new crowd favourite with its "Find a way to bring me home" refrain and there are plenty more songs on here for people to scream their lungs out too.
While this dramatic change in sound and song structure may annoy the hardcore fans it really shouldn't matter one bit as this is a great rock record which is certain to win them plenty of new fans.

Every song on this album is huge; and the grand theme for the entire record is set right from the get go. As `Into Oblivion (Reunion)' kicks in with an electro synth, dramatic string backing and haunting choral arrangement before making way to soaring guitar lick and uplifting chorus which hears Davies claim "I stared, into oblivion and found my own" you can't help getting swept along with it all...it's a breathtaking opener to the record.

Concept albums can be tricky business; to often the concept becoming bigger than the record itself. `TDTT' thankfully doesn't full into this category instead it's a rather grand tale about a sailor shipwrecked in the middle of the sea, the record chronicling his thoughts and fears; which are in part are based on Davies's own personal phobia of the ocean.

The 6 minute closer `The Sweetest Wave' could be the best thing the band has ever put down on record. A huge, grand cinematic epic of a song with a sweeping orchestral backing that builds into an explosive crescendo that's as invigorating as blast of sea spray to the face.

`Tales Don't Tell Themselves' is an exceptional record. While many bands are happy to stick too rigidly to what they know, this is the sound of a band progressing and having done so with fantastic results the future output of this band looks as if it could be very promising indeed.
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on 24 August 2007
I just need to start with all the people who have currently reviewed this album purely based on their (amazing) previous offerings.
The whole reason Kerrang gave this album 5K's is because they reviewed it as a new album and not the 3rd one in a string of the same old stuff that most kids like to hear - that's the problem, when you hear a great album in whatever way you think is great you just want the band to release another album with much the same style to carry on where the previous album left off.

This album is a great listen and found that after the first listen throughout I couldn't believe what I was hearing - firstly the vocals are something else, such a well-rounded improvement from their earlier days. Secondly the mixture of guitars and drumbeats are almost perfectly written to flow side by side. It shows a great advance on their song writing as a band, and in my opinion outlines their potential to become rock legends for years to come and also gives me hope that they will deliver a 4th album that will have the same impact as Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation but with the smoothness and maturity that Tales Don't Tell Themselves was written with.

And just a quick note on the structure of the album, Into Oblivion is a good opener as it does a good job of blending the sound of the whole album into one song. Halfway through we have All Hands on Deck Part 1 which is a great rock song and is one of the best written songs on the album. The Sweetest Wave is a perfect finisher and another beautifully written song.
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I bought "Casually Dressed..." last year after hearing "Red Is The New Black" on an episode of Torchwood. I thought it was ok, but wasn't exactly bowled over by it. Then I caught 30 seconds of "Into Oblivion" on a TV advert the other night, and bought "TDTT" the next day on the strength of that.

In the last two months I have been massively disappointed by the new albums by Marillion and Rush. The new album by the Manics only escaped being a disappointment due to the fact that my expectations were so low after their last two. But this album has utterly blown me away. I thought it was my age - I thought I was getting jaded, and that new music just wasn't going to do it for me anymore. Turns out I was wrong - there are still bands out there who understand that melody and energy are not mutually exclusive, and FFAF seem to know exactly how to combine the two.

"Into Oblivion" is the catchiest rock song I've heard in ages - that on its own is worth the price of admission - but this album is filled with tracks with hooks and melodies that burrow into your brain. OK, so it is a change in tack from Casually Dressed..., and I can understand the older fans taking a dislike to it as a result, but taken on its own merits, this is the best album I have heard in longer than I care to remember.
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on 18 May 2007
As countless people have already said this is a further step in a new direction for the band. I too admit that alot of the older songs are great (especially everything on Seven Ways to Scream Your Name) but you have to give credit were credit is due. This album brings together a great collection of different songs. Into Oblivion (Reunion) is the weakest song for me but when added to an album with strong songs like All Hands on Deck, Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 and One for the Road, you soon don't care and appreciate it as a good song amongst great songs.

I can't see how people who liked/loved Hours couldn't have seen this coming. If anything I feel that Hours is a poor man's version of this album.

Well done lads, can't wait for the show tonight!!!
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on 7 June 2007
This is unlike anything FFAF have done before and its a shame that it will be judged against their former efforts.

The basic concept of this album is a collection of tales about a fisherman at sea, away from his family and contemplating all the different analogies between life & the ocean.

This is brought to life by the harmonic vocals and calmingly melodic music that is beautifully laid down to acompany the story and it works very well.

luckily for me i'm a music fan that likes funeral for a friend, not a funeral for a friend fan (if that makes sense) it means I can listen to this and not feel betrayed at the difference from the first two albums which I loved also.

It is different, but sometimes the raw passion found in their earlier songs reflects their feelings inside, where as this is a thought out story put to music, and should be judged as such.

It will not be remembered as a classic album which is a shame, as even though it offers nothing new in terms of innovation it does have a lot of imagination and depth too it. a lot of people may look past this as they feel let down after their first play, however it could be that it just needs to be heard more than once.
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on 22 May 2007
funeral for a friend,with their latest album,are now neither screamo or emo,instead this is a rock album,its a good rock album but falls flat on some levels and leaves me as a listener just wanting that little bit more.Im writing this review again after reviewing it a week or so after its release but for some reason my review hasnt appeared,nevertheless with the extra few weeks of knowing the album and seeing them live again a week ago i have garnered a bit more respect for the album but not enough to gain an extra star or anything but maybe a half star so this album is now a 3.5 out of 5 rated album.

The album is concept based and deals with lead singer matts fear of water,so all the songs channel that fear in one way or another,this is an album that while not heavy is catchy enough to gain repeated listens but with maybe 3 tracks that neither get going or take off really this album has its good moments,its average moments and its bad moments,certainly the worst album of their career but not the worst album you will ever hear.
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