Recorded at his home studio in Nashville, Happy Hour is a do-it-yourself collection of 13 new originals produced and performed by Clive Gregson. The arrangements are kept sparse and simple, built around guitar or piano accompaniment with light touches of bass, keyboards, guitar, percussion, harmonica, and on the opener, "I Get What I Deserve," banjo. Anything but happy, Happy Hour is a dark, somber, yet intelligent and honest look at love, life, and longing, beautifully wrapped in Gregson's fetching melodies. It's to his credit that he's able to sustain this mood without becoming tiresome or falling into confessional self-pity. Because of the dour themes and stark, laid-back sound, some of the songs may take a few listenings to distinguish themselves, though a little time spent will reward you with a number of small gems.