Let’s not call it a long distance relationship, let’s call it a love too big to be placed in one city. Some people are in a lifetime long love relationships with their city. There are not a lot of guys on music scene like Richard Hwaley, a guy who went through a lot of stuff in his life and found shelter in music and love. His music vision might have taken him to unkown destinations but he always managed to put his vocal talent in the first plan. Anacrhonic classics were dominating on his previous progressive rock album Standing At The Sky’s Edge.
After three years, we finally got another Hawley’s collection that seems like a dissapointment at a first sight. Why? The reason is because he rejects to evolve, to push his music beyond expected. Instead, Hawley decided to take few steps back and make a classic crooner album. There are not a lot of albums like this nowdays.
By returning to his past, Hawley made some big mistakes, lyrical monotony as the capital one. There are a lot of love ballades with gorgeous melodies and anyone who gives this albums few chances will enjoy a lot. On the other hand, this album might induce neurosis in superficial listeners who are definitely going to press next a lot.
The city he was born in, Sheffield, is the singer’s ultimate insipiration and when he sings about it, there is no doubt pure love is poured into your ears. Hollow Meadows is a district in Sheffield. Strong melancholic ballades are core of all his albums and everything is bursting with emotions. From the early days of his career, his love was what allowed him to rise to the fame.
Long Time Down, Sometimes I Feel, Heart Of Oak are stand outs of this record. Each one of them could be a hit. Long Time Down sounds like it was ripped from Lady’s Bridge, Sometimes I feel reminded me of Johny Cash’s American Recordings, while Heart Of Oak is a true britpop pearl that I haven’t heard in a long time.
After three magnificent albums (Lady’s Bridge, Truelove’s Gutter and Standing at the Sky’s Edge), comes an average one. It still proves Hawley is one of the most powerful authors and vocals of his time. However, these songs are missing something crucial.