Richard Hawley: Truelove’s Gutter

RIYL: Roy Orbison, Scott Walker, Nick Cave

Death, taxes…Richard Hawley. The onetime Longpig is not only good for an album of new material every two years, but he’s good for a good album of new material every two years. Hawley went widescreen on 2007’s Lady’s Bridge, but opts for a more stripped-down approach on Truelove’s Gutter, his latest. The songs, as per usual, are the kind of ghostly ballads that would haunt an abandoned ’50s dancehall, which Hawley spices up with the use of a singing saw and a waterphone. (Yes, we had to look up the latter instrument, too.) He’s not in a hurry this time, either – the shortest songs clock in at four and a half minutes, and two of them hit both sides of the ten-minute mark. Amazingly, the epic tracks, “Remorse Code” and “Don’t You Cry,” are two of the album’s finest, breezing by in seemingly half the time. “Soldier On,” meanwhile, could serve as the new textbook definition of “quiet storm.”

Hawley himself surely knows that his success in the UK is a blessing and not a right – his music is blissfully out of time with its surroundings. Don’t be surprised, though, if Truelove’s Gutter ends up burying us all. (Mute 2009)

Richard Hawley MySpace page
Click to buy Truelove’s Gutter from Amazon


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