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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Richard Hawley
Lady's Bridge

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

October 4, 2007
For some unknown reason I harbor a soft spot for music that I can enjoy together with my mom. Whenever I listen to music in the vicinity of my parents, and my mom starts to nod her head and ask "What is this beautiful music?," I know it's something good. Morrissey and Weeping Willows are two great examples of music my mom likes, and that I have introduced her to. If I were to listen to Richard Hawley's latest release, Lady's Bridge, together with my mother, I'm certain it would get the mom seal of approval as well. That, Mr. Hawley, is quite a compliment.

Lady's Bridge is Richard Hawley's second release for Mute, and the album's predecessor, Cole's Corner, sold gold in Hawley's native UK, so there are some expectations for it to live up to. This time around Hawley has filled his album to the brim with compositions that ooze of the 50s and 60s, a large part of why my mom would probably like it so much. There are echoes of Elvis Presley, rockabilly tunes, and not least of all a healthy dose of Johnny Cash. The sound is however up to date, and instead of trying to sound like a distant echo from the middle of the last century, Hawley brings the 50s to the the present day.

Opening track "Valentine" is a very bittersweet and sentimental song dealing with the fear of no longer being needed by the one you love. Strings somewhere in the background, making the whole composition very lush and dreamy, accompany Hawley's sensitive guitar, and the music embraces everything around it like a very dark night. There are more tracks like "Valentine" on Lady's Bridge, warm and heart pouring, but there are also more upbeat numbers, like "Serious," which could just as well be one of Morrissey's finest compositions.

The variety of up-tempo tracks and slower cuts makes Lady's Bridge an excellent collection of songs, and Richard Hawley is bound to be a favorite in the coming months. I like to put seasonal labels on music, and Hawley's sound is definitely an autumnal one. When the weather turns and it gets dark before the evening news and you just want to kick yourself in the eye with a pointy boot and all your Morrissey albums have been stolen, then Richard Hawley is the one who will save you. Sure, he's not as gloomy and ironic as Morrissey, but the music itself has the same healing qualities as old Mozzer's.

I'm looking forward to seeing my mom again; she will definitely adore Richard Hawley, and I will feel like a proud eight year old again for introducing him to her.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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