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Another highly recommended new release

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  • Another highly recommended new release

    Chance are, you haven't the foggiest who Richard Hawley is unless you're in the UK, listen to the indie stations there, and/or are a big fan of the band Pulp. For the better part of a decade, Hawley has lent his guitar playing abilities to that latter band, after his original band, The Longpigs, fell apart.

    So, you're thinking a Richard Hawley solo album is gonna be about Britpop. You'd think, right? Yeah, not so much.

    I became a Hawley fan two years ago when his album "Lowedges" came out. I dunno what I was expecting, but it wasn't an album full of songs that sounded as if Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison had recorded a soundtrack for a David Lynch movie that didn't exist. There were deep, echo-ey Duane Eddy guitars, beautiful string arrangements, and Hawley's voice that--and here I'll defer to my girlfriend Amy--"makes me weak in the knees".

    Anyway, his new disc hits stores today. Add Frank Sinatra to the mix of influences, and if you're of a mood (a mood to hear a beautifully melancholic romantic album that suggests autumn dusks and lonely streetlights), this might be one of the best records of the year. I have no idea how I'm going to do a top ten list for 2005.

    If nothing else, check out the video for the first single, "The Ocean". That'll give you an idea of what's going on here.

    http://exodus.interoutemediaservices.com/d...delivery=stream (Windows Media)

    http://exodus.interoutemediaservices.com/d...delivery=stream (Real Player)
    I like cheese.

  • #2
    Originally posted by triggercut1@Sep 6 2005, 10:12 AM
    Chance are, you haven't the foggiest who Richard Hawley is unless you're in the UK, listen to the indie stations there, and/or are a big fan of the band Pulp. For the better part of a decade, Hawley has lent his guitar playing abilities to that latter band, after his original band, The Longpigs, fell apart.

    So, you're thinking a Richard Hawley solo album is gonna be about Britpop. You'd think, right? Yeah, not so much.

    I became a Hawley fan two years ago when his album "Lowedges" came out. I dunno what I was expecting, but it wasn't an album full of songs that sounded as if Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison had recorded a soundtrack for a David Lynch movie that didn't exist. There were deep, echo-ey Duane Eddy guitars, beautiful string arrangements, and Hawley's voice that--and here I'll defer to my girlfriend Amy--"makes me weak in the knees".

    Anyway, his new disc hits stores today. Add Frank Sinatra to the mix of influences, and if you're of a mood (a mood to hear a beautifully melancholic romantic album that suggests autumn dusks and lonely streetlights), this might be one of the best records of the year. I have no idea how I'm going to do a top ten list for 2005.

    If nothing else, check out the video for the first single, "The Ocean". That'll give you an idea of what's going on here.

    http://exodus.interoutemediaservices.com/d...delivery=stream (Windows Media)

    http://exodus.interoutemediaservices.com/d...delivery=stream (Real Player)

    Richard Hawley is fantastic. I 've got his other album as well. He has a definite ricky nelson vibe to his voice. Trig have you heard Jarvis Cockers side project Relaxed Muscle? I haven't been able to track it down while waiting for the new Pulp album to come out.

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    • #3
      Haven't heard the side project of Mr. Cocker, but I sure would like him to take Pulp off hiatus. Some friends went to Spain on their honeymoon two summers ago, and Jarvis was DJ-ing at a club; not sure if that's part or parcel of his new direction?

      At any rate, another Richard Hawley song, "Darlin'". If you can't coax her into the mood with this playing, give it up fellas.

      What I really dig about his solo stuff-much like another britpop guitar hero of mine, Bernard Butler--is that most of the time if you didn't know the guy was one of the shit-hottest guitar technicians on the planet, you'd never be able to tell by listening to their music. Too many times, brilliant technical players forget that without a song to play, all the technique in the world won't make it worth a shit.

      There was a MOJO article on Hawley a year or so ago, and they asked him to name his 5 most influential albums/artists, and none were from after about 1962 or so.

      Anyway, first review I've found of Cole's Corner:

      Cole's Corner is an actual place, a corner in Sheffield, Hawley's hometown, where people have met and encountered one another by chance, to hang out, rendezvous, and commiserate since 1905. This song cycle reflects the hope experienced in some of those chance encounters as it flowers and then withers and dies. Sounds like a downer, but Hawley's melancholy is so rich and empathetic, so devoid of self pity and self assessment, it is anything but. The title track that opens the set is like the beginning of as a suite or a movie theme. The Colin Elliot arranged strings ease in John Trier's piano and Hawley's voice, offering a snapshot from a man who stands alone on that corner, looking, waiting, deciding. His willingness to step out into a world of chance, into the world of people who all know what he feels is stirring. The ballad echoes Scott Walker's own vision of a world seen from outside as the protagonist's desire to enter becomes movement toward something unknown and unexpected. This is a pop song written as, and sung like, a standard from the Great American Songbook. "Just Like the Rain" is its mirror image, a song fueled by thin, shimmering guitars, articulated against movement, restlessness, and the desire to return to something left, to find the ghost that has haunted the singer. Here, echoes of Mickey Newbury's and Johnny Cash's stylized country story songs ("Sleep Alone")Charlie Rich's and Roy Orbison's balladry ("Darlin Wait for Me") permeate Hawley's delivery; they alternate with traces of Walker, Jacques Brel, and even the Frank Sinatra of "In the Wee Small Hours" ("The Ocean") to incarnate something completely and utterly his own. "Hotel Room," is an old-school rock & roll crooned ballad that iterates the magical nature of a tryst that feels like it exists outside of time and space and the margins of the universe are demarcated by four walls and a bed the lovers sanctuary. And so it goes. Reveries, nostalgia, longed-for wishes, regret, sadness, and the bittersweet mark of the beloved left on the heart of the left and lost. Early rock & roll and rockabilly, country, traces of the vintage-'40s pop, jazz, and even some blues, fall together in a seamless, nearly rapturous whole. Hawley's guitar sound, ringing like a voice from another present era, steps beyond dimension to underscore the emotion and story in his voice. There isn't a moment on Cole's Corner that doesn't stand up, doesn't fall into the next, giving them all uncommon, even singular depth and dimension. And the singer's voice conjures shadows, glimmers of soft light, street lamps, tears, and the sound of lonely steps on a rainy midnight street. Cole's Corner is glorious, magical, and utterly lovely in its vision, articulation, and execution. Hawley is a songwriter and musician in his own category.
      I like cheese.

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