Richard Hawley: Hollow Meadows (Warner Bros.) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019  

Richard Hawley

Hollow Meadows

Warner Bros.

Oct 27, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Richard Hawley has always felt of another time. His first few records traded on this timelessness, using deceptively simple melodies and little adornment to put the true star, his astonishing voice, center stage. As his solo career progressed, Hawley slowly shifted more into the now, expanding and refining his sound. As always, that voice carried the day. On his seventh long player, Hawley sheds some of the embellishments and the feeling is that of returning to a warm home. A warm home full of terrifically sad songs.

"Serenade of Blue" from its title to its content, is, on the surface, old fashioned. Much of the song, in fact, would feel at home next to, say, Bing Crosby. The middle of the song features a psychedelic guitar solo, but then returns to normal as if nothing happened, leaving one to wonder whether it had happened at all. The chorus of voices on "Sometimes I Feel" emerges from a mist of soaring guitar tones. These dreamy touches can be found throughout Hollow Meadows, keeping the record from feeling too grounded. Because Hawley's voice is so rock solid, surrounding him with more music that feels looser and more ethereal provides the most dimension.

The spell cast between the dreaminess and Hawley's talent for making nostalgia feel personal enough to avoid cliché is a powerful one. "Will these city streets remember us?/We walked them long ago," he sings on the standout heartbreaker "Nothing Like a Friend." This is followed by the fine "Sometimes I Feel," which picks up both the pace and the mood, and serves as the closest thing to a sunny day in the haunting Hollow Meadows. (www.richardhawley.co.uk)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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