Richard Hawley is probably one of the most underrated artists that we have in the UK; great songwriter, great melodies and lyrics and superbly produced. A man who supports his own home town by recording all his music there, very talented, widely renowned within the music industry, could be said to be one of UK's music best kept secrets.
Richard Hawley has become my favourite singer/musician since I bought Coles Corner. This first CD is excellent, as the other four he has made so far. I like very much the 5 songs included in this extended version, especially Cheap spanish whine, a simply delightful instrumental song, full of lovely guitar effects. Sick pay is also a jewel, with a catchy refrain. Of the seven first songs, Caravan (another great instrumental) and Naked in Pitsmoor are my favourites. The last one would be at home in Lowedges or Lady's Bridge, my two favourite albums from Mr. Hawley. In this first album he proves what an excellent singer he is, with that deep, low, and soothing baritone voice, and what a marvelous guitar player he is, specially in his instrumental songs. Recommended, not only to every Richar Hawley fan, but to every music lover out there. This is singing and playing music, not what Enrique Iglesias or Justin Timberlake do.
Like many, I got into Richard Hawley around the time of Coles Corner. Like many, I am amazed that this man does not shift records by the bucket-load as, to my mind, he is one of the top five singer-songwriters these isles have ever produced. Perhaps it's because (let's face it!) he's no spring chicken, or because his style of playing appears too retro, that he doesn't appeal to that section of the public who should be buying his records in droves: I refer to under-25's, who do not yet plainly comprehend that this is the greatest chill-out artist ever. Since falling head-over-heels in love with Coles Corner I have systematically worked my way backwards through the whole catalogue, and never been disappointed. Here we have another of those great artists, like The Smiths, like The Beatles, like The Jam in their heyday, who makes great albums, great singles, and great b-sides. This extended edition of Hawley's first mini-album presents us with those seven tracks plus five former b-sides, but it is no less a classic, or complete entity, for that. In fact, two of those tracks - Sick Pay and Troublesome Waters - rank among his finest, as does the opener - Coming Home - and the gorgeous Naked In Pitsmoor. Elsewhere, there are two instrumentals, reminiscent of Joe Meek - Caravan and Cheap Spanish Wine - which ooze class and daring like no-one else I can think of. Happy Families I find reminds me of David McWilliams' work with Mike Leander in the sixties, but there are great touches and influences everywhere. The only glitch (see if you can spot it) is one lyrical refrain repeated in two seperate songs, as if that matters. This is nascent genius at work, so we'll allow the odd oversight. If you are not yet familiar with the man and his work, buy Coles Corner or Lady's Bridge. You will end up buying the whole back catalogue, and you'll never look back.
Richard Hawley's mini debut is a fine work. Beautiful melodies that drift effortlessly beneath Hawley's crooning vocals. Opening track 'Coming Home' kicks proceedings off nicely and the album sails through a further 6 laid back tracks before coming to an end and leaving you wanting more. Although the guitar playing is not as exciting as his work with the excellent and now sadly defunct Longpigs this album is a fine release and well worth a listen.
I have been a fan of Richard Hawley's infectious acoustic gems since Coles Corner. After a few listens of that album, I bought all his previous records and am convinced more than ever that this man is a musical genius. His beautiful melodies, deep croon and soulful lyrics blend together to produce genuinely timeless music which will be enjoyed for many more years. Whether you're ecstatically in love, suffering with a broken heart, lonely or joyful, these heartfelt songs will warm your heart and make the world a little more beautiful. This is a quiet, introspective album - not really if you're into heavy sounds but perfect if you like slow, deep songs about life and love.
Here is a talent thats been in the industry for a while but in the background playing for some major bands, but has rightly so come to the fore with a very good debut album. Track one "Coming Home" sets the pace with well put together intelligent lyrics and atmospheric guitar work and the rest continues the good work thats been started. A good album to sit and listen to seriously, or use as background music and see the reaction. If its favourable get them to buy it they won't be dissapointed. This is a talent that deserves more recognition. Look forward to the next album.
I do not feel an overwhelming urge to write a huge critical appraisal of this album that name drops numerous artists and attempts to make me look like a major authority on popular music so just buy it like i say it is simply beautiful and does not need much more saying about it.