Listening to a Richard Hawley album is like rummaging through your parent's attic and going through their old vinyl collection; finding random little unknown treats along the way, and falling in love something new to you. Let's start by setting something straight. I have always been a fan of Hawley's, from his days with Pulp and Longpigs, all the way up to his solo material. This, being his fifth solo release, sounds just as big, not to mention beautiful, as his 2005 Mercury Prize nominated Cole's Corner.
Listening to Lady's Bridge, it is hard not to think that these songs were leftovers from Cole's Corner. Not that they didn't make the cut for the previous album, but that when combined with the new one, it feels complete, creating a second chapter. Keeping up with the crooning sensibilities found in previous efforts, Hawley wears his influences of Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Elvis and Scott Walker proudly. Each track is lavishly painted with melody ("Tonight The Streets Are Ours"), a hint of rockabilly ("Serious"), strings of romance ("Valentine") and Hawley's signature baritone vocals (ie: every track). Even the album's title keeps up with past themes; Lady's Bridge is the center of his hometown Sheffield, just as Cole's Corner was a place for lover's to meet.
Richard Hawley reminds us what an amazing artist he truly is with Lady's Bridge. Charming and enchanting don't even come close to describe him and his music. He does something that a lot of people out there don't and he's a master at his craft, creating timeless gems that my children might discover someday in my attic.
"Tonight The Streets Are Ours"