Thursday, October 15, 2009
It took a long time for Richard Hawley to come out of the shadows and into the limelight, but now that he's here, he's doing his damndest trying to stay on people's record players (because something as smooth as this really needs vinyl). His latest album Truelove's Gutter cements his place as one of the 00s' most consistent artists.
This album is less up-tempo than the last few, but does not suffer due to this. Opener 'As the Dawn Breaks' lulls you in with its embracing melody which draws you in to be smothered by "the songbird's melody." After this, there is no escaping Hawley's unique charm. 'Open Up Your Door' is the song most like Cole's Corner or Lady's Bridge, but instead of their punch, it gives the listener gentle prods and pokes, teasing you at every turn. It's like a lullaby for adults. Gorgeous.
At only eight songs in length, the album feels as if it ends too soon. Not because it's short, but because you could gladly listen to this forever. 'Remorse Code', not even longest song on here at nearly ten minutes, never outstays its welcome. Nor does album closer 'Don't You Cry', which clocks in at 10:41. In fact, 'Remorse Code' is probably the best song Hawley has ever written. It's both beautiful and clever. The perfect combination in both woman and song.
'Don't Get Hung Up On Your Soul' features an excellent nod to Bob Dylan, and is the perfect winter song, for the cold nights ahead. 'Soldier On' is the only weak spot on the album, as I don't think it matches the mood of the record as a whole. It's too heavy. Yes, a Richard Hawley song that's too heavy. However, it's immediately followed by 'For Your Lover, Give Some Time' which is a ballad up there with Orbison's best.
Overall, this is a fantastic record, and one which should win Hawley yet more fans. While I may prefer Lady's Bridge, this is a very, very close second.
Watch the video for 'For Your Lover, Give Some Time':