What does it sound like?:
Subtitled The Very Best of Richard Hawley, this retrospective two cd set takes a long lingering look back at Hawley’s career, spread over thirty two tracks. It’s not in chronological order, which is a little frustrating, as personally I like to hear how an artist has developed and progressed over the years, but that’s by the by really. Hawley is known for his affection for his home town, his rich vocals eulogising and romanticising the people and places of his native city of Sheffield in his songs and also in his album titles – Lowedges. Hollow Meadows, Cole’s Corner, Lady’s Bridge and Truelove’s Gutter to name but a few, and one of the very earliest songs here is the single Naked in Pittsmoor. I do prefer the ballads, sometimes brooding, sometimes uplifting, to the more uptempo rockabilly style songs, but each to their own of course. The selection covers the full span of his twenty year plus solo career, although there’s only one previously unreleased song, and it throws in a few B sides, such as the beautiful instrumental Kelham Island, alongside the cherry picked album tracks. There’s also his super cover of Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man taken from the Peaky Blinders soundtrack, and the excellent ominous There’s A Storm A’Comin’ from the Brighton Rock remake of a few years ago. Personal favourites have to be the epic The Ocean and the psychedelic tinged Don’t Stare at the Sun and She Brings Sunlight, but there’s lots more great music to discover here. To sum up then, a comprehensive overview of a great career, one that still hopefully has much more to offer.
What does it all *mean*?
To paraphrase one of the more recent songs on here, this is an album full of little treasures
Goes well with…
Enjoying a pint or two of bitter in Fagins or The Grapes with your mates.
Might suit people who like…
If you’re not familiar with the work of Richard Hawley then this is the ideal place to start putting that right.