11 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With a warm croon that recalls the mature romance of country star Jim Reeves and French pop chansonnier Serge Gainsbourg, plus orchestral arrangements ripped from the Lee Hazlewood playbook (or maybe The Tindersticks), Richard Hawley excels at dark, lonely, and hypnotic songs of love and loss. His fifth solo album, Lady's Bridge, is named after a landmark in his native Sheffield, England (as was his previous release, the excellent Cole's Corner). "Valentine" opens the album with a majestic, twinkling elegance as the strings rise to meet this gracious singer who's headlining in his own electrified cocktail lounge. Piano and a flowing rhythm mirror the sentiments of "Roll River Roll," a timeless tune that could've been penned in any decade. "Serious" picks up the pace with a near-rockabilly skip. "Tonight the Streets Are Ours" revels in a celebratory vamp. But mostly, Hawley relies on slow, bittersweet pulses ("Lady Solitude," "Our Darkness," "The Sun Refused to Shine"). His reputation began as a capable sideman for Jarvis Cocker and Pulp, but his own talents demand notice; they're never secondary.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With a warm croon that recalls the mature romance of country star Jim Reeves and French pop chansonnier Serge Gainsbourg, plus orchestral arrangements ripped from the Lee Hazlewood playbook (or maybe The Tindersticks), Richard Hawley excels at dark, lonely, and hypnotic songs of love and loss. His fifth solo album, Lady's Bridge, is named after a landmark in his native Sheffield, England (as was his previous release, the excellent Cole's Corner). "Valentine" opens the album with a majestic, twinkling elegance as the strings rise to meet this gracious singer who's headlining in his own electrified cocktail lounge. Piano and a flowing rhythm mirror the sentiments of "Roll River Roll," a timeless tune that could've been penned in any decade. "Serious" picks up the pace with a near-rockabilly skip. "Tonight the Streets Are Ours" revels in a celebratory vamp. But mostly, Hawley relies on slow, bittersweet pulses ("Lady Solitude," "Our Darkness," "The Sun Refused to Shine"). His reputation began as a capable sideman for Jarvis Cocker and Pulp, but his own talents demand notice; they're never secondary.

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