Put A Record On: Richard Hawley Croons To The Charts
September 28th, 2009 | Sheffield
Many have tried to step into Frank Sinatra's shoes, but the crown fits better on Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley than anyone before. The parallel isn't because of conservative values or mob connections, however, but because of both gentlemen's ability to spellbind listeners with their voices and stories.
Hawley used to play with Britpop band Pulp, and it was singer Jarvis Cocker who persuaded him to break out of his drug addiction and pursue a solo career. After the brilliantly received Cole's Corner and Mercury nominated Lady's Bridge, Hawley must feel free enough to let his adventurous aspirations fly. Now, Truelove's Gutter, his sixth album, shows that he has reached the point where his record label almost allows him to do what he pleases—the release even features several songs that nudge the 10-minute mark. That said, Hawley's crooner sound—remarkable as it is—limits his chances of securing a bigger fan base; he would probably have to do a duet with Britney Spears in order to break into America, for instance.
Truelove's Gutter contains a wide array of unusual instruments—including a waterphone, mega bass and a crystal baschet—which inject a bit of humor into Hawley's usually melancholic lyrics. Hopeless romance, as on "Open Up Your Door," and the hilariously titled "Remorse Code" add sonic quality to this album. In his three-piece suits, sunglasses, quiff and ever-present cigarette, he might not look like Frank Sinatra, but he sure croons just as well.
Truelove's Gutter is out now. For more information, see www.myspace.com/richardhawley.