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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Hawley - Darkness on the edge of Sheffield
4.5 stars

This is all a bit unexpected. Richard Hawley classic balladeer, aching lyricist and glorious singer songwriter becomes a space rock cadet? That at least is the interpretation of a number of music magazine reviews of this album thus far and it is partly why this reviewer for the first time approached a Hawley album with a distinct degree of...
Published on 7 May 2012 by Red on Black

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic compromise
In an interview with Q magazine before it was released, Richard Hawley explained that he had to make this album while he still had 'a pulse', referring to two recent bereavements. I looked forward to hearing it when I heard he'd gone 'cosmic'. Though I love his earlier solo albums, I thought this would be interesting. Sadly, it didn't live up to expectations...
Published on 17 May 2012 by D. J. H. Thorn


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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My!, 8 May 2012
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This review is from: Standing At The Sky's Edge [+Digital Booklet] (MP3 Download)
I have fallen head over heels in love. Mr Hawley is a recent discovery, I am ashamed to admit, and I am completely besotted.
This album? Sublime.
Utterly utterly sublime.
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8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair to middling !, 9 May 2012
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Richard Hawley must be just about the most played artist in our house. This album however wont be. Save for 2 or 3 tracks it wouldnt get played in its entirity very often. Could be an age thing and might appeal to a new younger audience ? Wrote this review simply to balance things up a bit. Not one for me but the bulk of the mans work is up there with the best !
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 7 Jun. 2012
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My wife and I are great Richard Hawley fans and have all of his previous albums. Being in the 60+ age bracket, we loved the retro sound of Richard's albums, full of great songs and terrific clear singing, reminiscent of another favourite, Roy Orbison. We pre-ordered this new album on the assumption that we were in for more of the same, but, boy, have we been disappointed. There are still good melodies in there somewhere, but they are drowned in wailing guitars and over production, and lyrics are hard to catch. And why someone with such a great voice would want to drown it out with echo and reverb just defies logic in our opinion. The real Richard only appears in a couple of tracks in the middle which we have copied to MP3 (otherwise we would have given it no stars). We will not be playing the whole album again. As far as we are concerned, this is a very misguided experiment, and we would urge Richard to stick with what he is best at, or his fanbase is likely to disappear.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a let down, 17 May 2012
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I discovered Richard Hawley about a year ago and have been slowly catching up with his output ever since. One of England's finest singer songwriters in my humble opinion. Was excited with the news of the album but I feel totally underwhelmed after listening to it a few times. The subtlety and beauty you'd normally get are totally missing. It just sounds like a sort of early 1990's shoegazing dirge. I'll give it a few more listens in case I'm missing something but I think this will be going on ebay sooner rather than later!!

EDIT: I've been listening to this album all summer and it's a lot better than my initial review. I think you could class it as a "grower". It's actually good that Hawley has decided to mix up his sound and give us an album that sounds different to the previous one.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disapointing, 28 Feb. 2013
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After loving all Richard Hawleys albums pr this one , I was very dissapointed with his new direction , gone are the wonderfull melodies , replaced with just thrashing guitar driven noise , I recommend anyone considering buying this album , to listen to samples beforehand
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10 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Richard Hawley Channels 90's Shoegaze On New Album - In The Most Boring Possible Way., 10 May 2012
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Gregory W. French "gegsville" (Ipswich, UK) - See all my reviews
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Anger at the recklessness of the ConDem Government and the deaths of his father and best friend are the apparent topics which inspired the dark subject matter on Standing At The Sky's Edge, released this week, leaving the listener wondering: what kind of deep morbidity normally inspires his slow, impassioned croon? The album however is marked by a radical change of style for Hawley; gone is the morose drone of the saw and the gentle strum of acoustic guitars we saw on Trueloves Gutter (2009). Hawley has kicked the pedal into overdrive and is trying to communicate a new kind of message with his new album:' psychedelia rocks'!

The epic (as is the popular tag) opener is She Brings the Sunlight, which rather sets the tone and style for the long player. It is a droning guitar haze over psychedelic vocals recalling Oasis in their heyday, when they got just a little too self-absorbed. The song feels vaguely promising early on as an interesting rock tune, but much like the title track soon reveals itself to be about 4 minutes longer than it ought to be. The grandiose concepts suggested by the song titles (Time Will Bring You Winter is borderline ridiculous) fail to be illuminated by the tracks themselves, until half way through the album when the ears actually perk up. The gentle Seek It totally lives up to my expectations of Hawley as a great songwriter and it is evident just how much he's listened to Arctic Monkeys' Suck it and See (2011) recently. This track reinforces what Hawley is best at: softly-sung ballads with the dreamlike swirling reverb guitars making the perfect break in between vocal turns, this time in a major key.

With this, the album immediately improves. The melancholic sigh of slow-moving acoustic Don't Stare At The Sun is pleasant enough and bears some melodic similarities to Moving by Supergrass, again taking influence from the late nineties. The Wood Colliers Grave is another welcome shift of mood and lives up to the ghostly and psychedelic theme of the album, but is the shortest track on the album. One starts to notice the absence of wit and romantic realism which is ever-present in the lyrics of Hawley's back catalogue, when we are lunged into rock city again with Leave Your Body Behind You. Admittedly one of the better heavy songs on the disc, you have really heard the whole song once you are over the first chorus. The album certainly shows Hawley the guitarist at his best, although the subtleties of his playing are overshadowed through the drone of cymbal crashes, obscene reverb and a bit of bad mixing on behalf of the producer.

The final track, Before, is another one of the better songs which ends the album on a more defiant note than one might've expected. But it would still probably be more suited to the classic Hawley style of steady rhythm, acoustic guitars and a clear vocal delivery - the only accompaniment a well written song really needs. Upon finishing this track, a rather non-eventful fifty minutes has passed and I found myself putting the cd back in the case and waiting for some kind of impact. Repeated listens indicate that it is not much of a grower: I'm still waiting. It is a great thing when an artist has the freedom and ability to change whenever they wish, but I cannot see this style of boring heavy semi-rock ballads lasting for long; and nor should it.
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4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars shame, 3 Jun. 2012
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love richard ,should say old richard cos true love gutter was dark and not enjoyable but this after pre ordering with anticipation on listening is worse, if you love richard hawley do not buy this and stay in the past!
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14 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars more is less, 10 May 2012
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M. Delaere (The Hague Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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I used to be able to play any Richard Hawley album in the living room, but that is totally impossible with the new 'Standing at the sky's edge'.
Hawley's music used to be melodic, based, I hope, on the philosophy that in music less is more.
With the new album, more is less. What a shame. The (guitar)noise is unbearable.It is a blur. And how difficult can it be to make a lot of guitars scream - scream until my daughter's guinea-pigs go crazy?
Compare that the beauty of 'False lights from the land' or the album Hawley produced on Tony Christie. And Hawley's other albums.
I do not know why Richard Hawley came up with the idea to change course. Having said all this, Allmusic applauds 'Standing at the sky's edge' and so do most UK newspapers.
Good for Richard, and I wish him all the best and fantastic sales.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed., 2 Jan. 2013
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I bought R.H.s first albums because I found them so relaxing and highly listenable whilst driving. Then came "Trueloves Gutter", such a change! The weird monotonous two minute intro on the first track set the gloomy mood for the rest of a mediocre album which I`ve only played twice, and now this! Think Val Doonican sings ZZ Top whilst standing in a bus shelter and there you have the sound. Now think Ravi Shankar playing the sitar with his toes and you have the melodies. Apart from the odd ballad, the lyrics were mystifyingly obscure. I bought this on the strength of his name alone but will certainly listen to the Amazon samples first before I buy another.
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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing DIN!, 8 Jun. 2012
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I bought this based on the reviews available on Amazon. All I can say is that I found every track on this album to be a loud, tinny repetitive din! Richard Hawleys' voice is magic, but can be barely heard on many of these tracks.
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