The Violet Hour

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Jul 8, 2003
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 1 out of 13

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  1. JacquesDerrida
    Jun 1, 2005
    8
    A virtually perfect mood album. The hazy vocals and languid guitar combine for a sound that, while not overly inventive, is distinct in its own right. Think Belle and Sebastian with more distortion. Can't wait for their next offering.
  2. marcusl
    Jan 4, 2004
    10
    Simply an excellent work... These guys have produced a beautiful album - evocative, melodic, powerful... Wish there were more bands with such talent.
  3. TimB
    Aug 11, 2003
    8
    References to "60s-influenced" and "Beatles meets Zevon" aren't hard to find in reviews of this band, and while comments like this certainly have merit, they in no way describe everything offered here. It's got the sound of psych/folk rock and the lyrical sensibilities (or lack thereof, depending on your view) of "emo". At the same time, I don't hear the posturing or References to "60s-influenced" and "Beatles meets Zevon" aren't hard to find in reviews of this band, and while comments like this certainly have merit, they in no way describe everything offered here. It's got the sound of psych/folk rock and the lyrical sensibilities (or lack thereof, depending on your view) of "emo". At the same time, I don't hear the posturing or pseudo-revivalist pretention I might have expected from a band described in that way. The songs are without exception clean and cohesive pop, running long enough to say what they need to and then coming to a logical conclusion -- no ridiculous solos, fumbling faux-improv bridges, or interminable "artistic" outros which might impose on the smooth, listenable feel of the album. If you enjoy (to name one) Interpol for more than just the noisy parts, you might want to give this a shot. The overall feeling of this album is something like that produced by the climax of Interpol's "NYC". It's beautiful (but not to the point of heartbreak), sweet (but not to the point of diabetic coma), and somber (but not to the point of, say, The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up). As a bonus, the CD (at least in the US) is enhanced, and includes videos for "House of Fire" (one of the finest tracks on the album) and "Reflections After Jane" (an excellent track, which I'd previously heard and enjoyed but which is not to be found on this album). I didn't realize this until I got it home, but it just sweetened the deal for me. Definitely recommended. Expand
  4. spezmcd
    Mar 4, 2004
    9
    Great, summer music
  5. samuelr
    Aug 23, 2005
    3
    Too caught up in creating a general sound than decent sounding songs
  6. Jon
    Nov 11, 2004
    10
    I can make a strong, persuasive case for other records of the past two years being more original or radical or artistically ambitious, but I have played "The Violet Hour" more than anything else in my collection over the last 2 years. Easily. It's shimmeringly, hauntingly brilliant, and I can't get enough.
  7. DarrylD
    May 5, 2005
    10
    The lusty gloom is not even alieviated by the elegance of diction.
  8. Jason
    Aug 19, 2003
    10
    Sublime. I adore "Suburban Light" and am impressed The Clientele were able to not only sustain the magic of that song collection, but deepen their sound. It just makes you feel warm and good.
  9. Ryan
    Sep 24, 2003
    9
    The record is brilliant - What's not to like about an easy listening record with edge? I say it's been too long since mellow indie has had a break from Nick Drake covers
  10. otoniel
    May 16, 2005
    10
    This is the perfect dream pop album to make love to.

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Every so often a record pops up that seems to exist in some alien world, unscathed by hipster fads and driven forward only by its own gorgeous mindset. With 'The Violet Hour', The Clientele have made a beautifully haunting album of music to take drugs to make music to take drugs to.
  2. The more involved the songs get, the more ethereal they end up, and not always to the good.
  3. Was it worth the wait? Well, it is for those who favor the kind of retro-futurist pop that recalls the mood-drenched fog of Galaxie 500 decorated with Byrdsian guitar filigrees.