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4.7 out of 5 stars88
4.7 out of 5 stars
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I have to say that I was very surprised when I pressed play and found that Richard Hawley's latest was a heady mixture of Drum 'n' Bass, gangsta rap and speed metal.

I am, of course, joking. If you have heard "Coles Corner", "Lady's Bridge", or any of his earlier solo albums, then you will be fairly familiar with Hawley's style and will know pretty much what to expect from "Truelove's Gutter". However, what you possibly won't have been expecting is just how brilliant his new piece of work is. It is a further collection of beautiful, gentle, romantic songs in his timeless style. Like a contemporary Nat King Cole (only better), Richard Hawley has delivered an exceptional collection of emotionally-engaging, truly beautiful ballads which may, just, be the best of his career so far. This album is also a little more understated than his last, a tad more subtle - and it works all the better because of it.

At eight songs long, you may be forgiven for thinking that this could be a short album, but with three songs at over six minutes long, this still feels like a whole, complete long-player. Besides, if you're anything like me, you prefer quality over quantity and "Truelove's Gutter" has quality in abundance. The opening song, "As The Dawn Breaks" is an exquisite introduction to the album, tender and delicate. "Open Up The Door" is simply an amazing track, gorgeously romantic and impeccably augmented by the sweeping, swelling Red Skies string section. "Ashes On The Fire", a tale of heartbreak in a slow waltz time, is both beautiful and sad at the same time. "Remorse Code", with its very punny title, starts like gently acoustic version of Lennon's "Imagine" but, at just under ten minutes in length, develops into a beguiling extended instrumental with some genuinely wonderful guitar work.

"Don't Get Hung Up In Your Soul" is simple but effective, with Hawley's rich, expressive voice pulling quite a few emotional strings over an understated acoustic guitar, saw and zither. I really do appreciate that the more unusual instruments haven't been allowed to take over the song. Often artists and groups will make too much of a highlight of an instrument if it is perceived as unconventional, but Richard hasn't been caught in that particular trap. Perhaps the highlight of the album - and it really does have to be a very special track to stand out in this distinguished crowd - is "Soldier On". It starts and builds gently, showcasing a subtle guitar solo, but when it thrillingly explodes, resplendent with rippling cymbals, bold drumkit, throbbing electric guitar and heavenly strings... well, it truly is something quite magnificent. The penultimate song, "For Your Lover Give Some Time", is a real tear-jerker - sincere, emotional and absolutely beautiful. The album finishes on "Don't You Cry" (it could easily be an instruction for those trying to get through the previous song without welling up!) which is a ten minute piece of sheer loveliness.

This is an exceptional and flawless album. It is, arguably, the best of Richard Hawley's exemplary career and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 7 July 2011
This is without a doubt one of the best albums I've bought in many years.

The voice, the intonation, the sheer clarity are just amazing.

The music reminds me of the kind of soft gentle songs of the old rat pack. Well sung, clear and bright with backgrounds to stir the soul as the guitar plucks the heart strings.

Deep driving rhythms, slow carefully picked notes interleaved with enough spaces to park an ocean liner of emotion. I don't know which is my favourite track so far, they are all just so wonderful.

This CD has been played constantly since it arrived last week, it's just so completely fantastic. Now I need to save up for the earlier music.

I could go on forever about how much this music has lured me, loved me and rewarded me. 'Nuff Said. Buy it.
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on 15 June 2010
Have always liked the sound of Richard Hawley & decided to buy a CD. Bought 'Lady's Bridge' first which was more of an 'instant' CD than this one, maybe because it had a few more 'up-tempo' tunes. However, if you like Richard Hawley, once you've heard this a few times you'll love it. Lovely relaxing music. His voice is unique.
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2009
One of the great singer songwriters of the age , Sheffield's Richard Hawley is also one of the great male vocalists , his voice a rich deep burr that flows like dark oak casketed molasses . Trueloves Gutter is his sixth album and is arguably his most rounded consistent album yet which coming on the back of wondrous albums like Cole's Corner &Lady's Bridge is really saying something .
This album is not a lavish and opulent as Coles Corner or as glitzy and brash as Lady's Bridge .Trueloves Gutters is more reflective and pared back , the songs more ruminative and sparse, though that's not to say it isn't without those moments of fulsome beauty that followers of Hawley will know and love. "Open Up Your Door " for instance features the Red Skies string section who for this gorgeous songs last third burst effulgently from the speakers like a cloud of iridescent feathers.
Only a true master of the song writing art could take a song as ( on the surface ) simple as "Remorse Code " which centres on a deceptively straightforward guitar refrain and over nearly ten minutes weave a beguiling and tender enchantment without the listener losing interest. Similarly "Soldier On " for half of it's nigh on seven minute just features lonely lap steel , muted percussion and Richards vocals until (for this album ) discordant guitars and keening strings rupture the bereft arrangement.
Aficionados of exotic instrumentation will be in heaven with this album. Opening track "As The Dawn Breaks " features the celestial wailing of the glass harmonica." Ashes In The Fire " uses Celeste and tremolo mandolas while the fragile diaphanous "Don't Get Hung Up On Your Soul " has Alpine concert zither and musical Saw. Not that all this instrumental exotica is a cover for dull songs. The wonderful plea for universal appreciation of those closest to us "For Your Lover Give Some Time " may feature fisherman's lyre but mostly is a truly lovely affecting song. Best of all is the epic closing track "Don't, You Cry " .I cannot differentiate the water phone or indeed the Tibetan singing bowls in the mix but the song is a glorious almost hymnal comfort blanket. The final coda is absolutely spine tingling .
I am tempted to lament the fact that while myriad turgid bland singer songwriters garner excessive radio exposure and clog up the charts a careworn genius like Richard Hawley is largely ignored. But it probably doesn't bother him too much and really we should just be grateful that music this special , this marvellously moving, exists at all. A deeply personal work I feel , Trueloves Gutter is the best thing Richard Hawley has ever done . A minor miracle. This gutter runs feely with the benefit of love , life and the compassionate flow of human experience.
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on 9 October 2010
Truelove's Gutter is wonderful.Hagendaz obviously agree,since they are using some of Richard Hawley's songs in their adverts.Dreamy voice,great production,and beautiful lyrics.This son of Sheffield is a truly great romantic poet.I love this music!Truelove's Gutter
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on 24 January 2010
A strange album - Richard Hawley has a reputation for being the bard of the industrial estate and Truelove doesn't really dispel that myth. He takes you to places where you wouldn't normally want to go but manages to impart a sense of wonder in the ordinary and gives glitter to the rainswept northern streets. Imagine if Jim Reeves had been born in Broomhill rather than Texas. Then make him spend his youth listening to the Bunnymen and classic sixties pop. Get Scott Walker in to produce him and make Scott promise not to ditch the melody and you'd be just about there. Hawley sings for the lost and lonely, but in a way that makes the world seem not a bad place. After listening to Truelove, you don't come out the other side despairing, you actually feel a little better about the world. It is, in a way, quite a life affirming piece of art. The songs have time to settle and expand and the music is given space (something sorely lacking in today's digital production age) to allow tenderness and wonder to come out freely in the lyrics. Worth its place as one of 2009's albums of the year.
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on 24 August 2009
The Graeme Swann of balladry returns. However, Truelove's Gutter is more the muted and thoughtful approach of earlier albums, Coles Corner, Lowedges. Matter of taste, but I prefer this to the jolly rockabilly tunes of Lady's Bridge.

As the Dawn Breaks and Open Up Your Door are romantic, but not exuberant - thank gawd, lyrical like Scott Walker. More the songs of a defeated man, of a loser. For Your Lover Give Some Time - Christ, did a declaration of faith ever sound more depressing? This is the Richard Hawley I like, not that berk in the video of the single from Lady's Bridge.

A great album - and nicely timed for winter! The nights should be cold to get maximum pleasure from a Hawley album.

See you at Shepherd's Bush in October.
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VINE VOICEon 16 September 2009
Richard Hawley's 6th studio album is a more muted affair than Lady's Bridge, recalling tracks from Lowedges or Coles Corner such as 'The Ocean' or 'Hotel Room'. This low-key, downbeat mood flows through every song but is never overpowering - rather it gives a beautiful mellow feeling to the album which washes over the listener. This means that it works very much as an album to listen to in one sitting, rather than as individual songs.

It is a strong set of songs, similar in style to Scott Walker's earlier solo albums with Hawley's crooning, distinctive voice a highlight throughout, especially on album opener 'As the Dawn Breaks' and 'Ashes on the Fire'. The musical direction is slightly different on this album to previous; there is less reliance on strings (though they are still there), with Hawley instead choosing to experiment with lesser-known instruments, including a glass harmonica on several of the tracks (best example being 'Don't You Cry'), creating a haunting, mystical sound that is rarely heard in music.

Although there are only 8 tracks, this is not a short album. There are some epic tracks, particularly 'Remorse Code' (a track that deals with one of Hawley's favourite themes - the ocean) which provides a slight mood lift to the album with its excellent vocal and guitar performance. It nevers feels like a stretch listening to these songs though - they are not over-indulgent. The playing is fantastic with some fantastic guitar performances by Hawley, and strings, as well as other instruments, used to give lush instrumentation that is familiar on all of his albums. It is a dark album, lyrically as well as musically, perfect for autumn nights and rainy winter days. In my opinion it is one of his most consistent and strongest albums.
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on 18 October 2015
This is a one in a million album! You just stumble across it by chance. For me, I was watching the box when suddenly I heard part of a music
track being played. Stopped and rewound and again. Just knew that song from somewhere.
Found the track on YouTube. Cannot think of name of track but goes like 'knocking at your door, tarumtytum'.
You will find it. Please give it a listen. Brilliant album. He was on 'Jools Holland' last week. Been around for years.
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on 20 December 2015
Very professional seller with clear communications.

I've been searching for this LP for a while and once purchases had it in 24hrs. The prices are constantly creeping up and all of sudden the available copies disappeared from Amazon, eBay, EIL and Discogs. Fortunately this Amazon seller still had one.

Worth every penny and I remain astonished that with only 1,000 pressed one can still buy a sealed copy.

I am very happy!
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