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The Blackout - Hope reviews and Radio 5 Live appearance

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James McLaren James McLaren | 11:22 UK time, Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Following our interview with Gav Butler and Sean Smith of The Blackout, we've brought together some of the reviews of their third album Hope.

Be sure to let us know if there are other reviews you've seen. You can leave comments at the bottom of this blog entry.

Also, Gav and Sean appeared on Victoria Derbyshire's Radio 5 Live show on 28 March as part of the regular Monday music panel. Listen to their verdicts on Britney Spears and Katy B, plus a 40-year old Blackout fan who thinks they're the "best live band since The Clash".

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And here are the review excerpts:

Rock Sound 8/10
"The 11 songs are built with intention and purpose, designed to bring out the best in a large crowd or field and as such, they deliver. In spades. 'Hope' is the soundtrack to the summer you've not yet had, and from here it sounds like it might be the best one yet."

Musicrooms.net 4/5
"You could say The Blackout have progressed away from the heavier sound they had on 'We Are The Dynamite' (2007) and have written a somewhat softer album, but Hope is noticeably still The Blackout with their energetic songs full of fantastic guitar riffs, instrumental breakdowns and signature interchanging vocals from Sean Smith's screaming to Gavin Butler's singing."

BBC Music
"They're clearly trying to make music that soars as much as it is uplifting, but too much of it is too familiar, too often. Never By Your Side loses its spark and bite when it goes for broke with a chorus that never quite ignites, while the title-track leaves them stranded in the middle of the road. Partly, they're hamstrung by the production: everything sounds compressed, especially the gang vocals, and this unintentionally creates the impression of a hard sell."

Punktastic 4/5
"In short, if you didn't like The Blackout before, chances are this isn't going to do a huge amount to rectify that. There is no dramatic change of direction here (aside from Hyro Da Hero's verse in 'Higher & Higher', this is all instantly recognisable as The Blackout) and they aren't redefining a genre. What 'Hope' is, however, is a solid and accomplished record that will sit well with the casual fans as much as it will with the die-hards."

Ultimate Guitar
"The Storm ends the album beautifully and I was pleasantly surprised when I heard it. I don't hate anything of this album. It's brilliantly put together, with great album artwork. And If it were stolen I'd DEFINITELY buy a new one."

Scratching The Surface
"Hope is an ambitious and well executed record, coming from a band who now seem to have found their feet in the world of music. It is with this album that we will see The Blackout departing from the region of small, up and coming bands, and moving on to conquer far bigger things."

"Overall, 'Hope' has its brilliant moments and disappointing lulls. The influence of peers such as Lostprophets is far more evident in this LP than it has been in previous works - not that that constitutes a negative, it'd just be refreshing to hear more of a growth and expansion on The Blackout's sound rather than their inspiration... But for casual or first-time listeners, 'Hope' doesn't offer an entire patented thrill-ride The Blackout experience that it could."

Leeds Music Scene 5/5
"As the album chords close, and no zombie reference in sight, it's a relief to know the Merthyr boys never gave up on this, when the going got tough last year. It's clear to hear the South Wales' sextet have grown up from their previous albums, which is an excellent progression."

Missy 5/5
"This. Album. Blew. Our. MINDS!"

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