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Coles Corner

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Audio CD, September 6, 2005
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Vinyl, Import, Limited Edition, 2005
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Richard Hawley is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and producer from Sheffield. Richard has previously worked with the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Pulp, Hank Marvin, A Girl Called Eddy, Duane Eddy and many more. Richard Hawley's Mercury Prize Album of the Year shortlisted ‘Standing At The Sky’s Edge’ is out now.

Albums of the Year in UNCUT, MOJO, Q, NME, and many ... Read more in Amazon's Richard Hawley Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 6, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wb / Parlophone
  • ASIN: B000AA4LN2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,242 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Coles Corner
2. Just Like The Rain
3. Hotel Room
4. Wait For Me
5. The Ocean
6. Born Under A Bad Sign
7. I Sleep Alone
8. Tonight
9. Wading Through The Water
10. Who's Going To Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet
11. Last Orders

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Coles Corner, the follow up to previous albums on Setanta, Late Night Final (2001) and Lowedges (2003), was recorded at Yellowarch Studio in Sheffield, singer/songwriter Hawley's hometown and is a beautiful album, filled with nostalgia, emotion and romance. The album's orchestral splendour sits alongside earthy rock and roll with songs that are by turns intimate and soaring. Richard Hawley insists his mind is full only with 'confused thoughts and Guinness'. But when he sings, he does so in a voice that's deep and low, and does not lie. His merciful, wise songs tell of the heart's truths as seen in the dark, revealed by moonlight. Thom Yorke (Radiohead) says... 'Richard Hawley is all I'm listening to at the moment' and Scott Walker says... 'Richards voice is up there with the all time greats'...Mute. 2005.

Richard Hawley spent the ‘90s primarily as a guitarist with Pulp and Longpigs, and contributing in-studio for the likes of Beth Orton and Robbie Williams. The 21st century, however, has seen Hawley make his way as a stellar solo artist. A loose tone poem/ode about a specific, well-traveled locale in his native Sheffield, Coles Corner is dense with songs that manage to be both weighty in tone, yet airy in execution. Sung in a thrilling baritone that falls somewhere between Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash, his lyrics scrutinize that ghostly intersection of places and people, and how little pieces of ourselves we leave behind accumulate to form a kind of psychic footprint. The record bleeds with heart-on-the-sleeve sincerity that has nothing at all to do with indie music's recurring fondness for bitter irony. "The Ocean" is a prime example, filled with slow, sweeping motifs and unabashed grace. Hawley doesn't forget his guitar, breaking in with thick, messy riffs on songs like "Born Under a Bad Side" and slide atmospherics on "I Sleep Alone" and "Hotel Room." It's a satisfying piece of work, and while it cements Hawley's reputation as a skilled songwriter and musician it also exposes him as a world-class hopeless romantic. –Matthew Cooke

Customer Reviews

The melody is well crafted.
J. Novakoff
Whatever "your corner" was called, or my memory takes me, this music could probably be how those places sounded when we looked for love.
Juan Mobili
Lets just say his music is tasteful and listening to it requires good taste in music.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on September 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Richard Hawley -a favorite of Nancy Sinatra and Ryan Adams- may just have earned a place in the lineage of singers and songwriters who have a legitimate gift for genuine romanticism, in a tradition wide enough to include Bacharach, Scott Walker, Dion and Roy Orbison.
I know that's quite a strong statement to make, yet Hawley belongs there by his capacity to evoke a certain nostalgia and joy of true romance that is authentic and exquisitely crafted, without ever indulging in trite sentimentality.
Whether you are already familiar with Hawley or not, Coles Corner, his most accomplished album thus far, is a perfect place to take delight on this man's work. Hawley has a distinct voice tone and sense of phrasing that can conjure up the many moods of love that many of us have felt, and that those people mentioned before have so memorably expressed.
I would add that the fact that these songs are written by him may clearly contribute to the confidence and credibility of his delivery. Whether it is the longing in his voice in "Coles Corner" or "Wait For Me," which reminded me of Orbison, or the romantic pleas of "The Ocean" or "Born Under A Bad Sign," he hits the mark.
Another remarkable fact is that Hawley is not even a singer first, his guitar work -a fixture in Pulp's sound in recent years- is what he's been originally recognized for, and in this album he confirm that too. This is one of those rare cases of virtuosity without showing off, confessional without self-consciousness, gorgeous chords and subtle solos weaving seamless stories between words and melodies.
Coles Corner, it's conveyed in the liner notes, was a place where everyone in Sheffield met -specially those looking for romance- and although, many of us were never there, it would feel like a familiar place. Whatever "your corner" was called, or my memory takes me, this music could probably be how those places sounded when we looked for love.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By on March 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a lovely record, one worth listening to every time it rains, as I'm doing now, here in old LA. The vocals are warm, the songs classically structured, and despite other reviews, this is NOT over produced. Yes: There are understated, very understated, strings on a few cuts--a FEW. Some reverb touches appear here and there. But that constitutes over production? In what parallel universe, what Bizzaro World? And the nonsense about this being a Country record is laughable. Which country, exactly, are we talking about? There's exactly one song that might fit that genre. And it is classic and beautiful. Sure, there are some songs that derive from the precursors to country, the old folk song styles, which were themselves derived from Celtic ballads. But "Country?" Not to offend anyone, but that just isn''t accurate.

I would say the vocal and songwriting analogy would be closer to Nick Lowe's latest work, rather than Cohen or Cash. Cash had more of an edge to his tone; Cohen doesn't have Hawley's sense of pitch, though he has a whole lot of lyrics. This is more Spartan, like Nick's "Dig My Mood," though melodically it also closes in at times on Orbison, and there is an echo of Roy in the phrasing. I might offer the caveat that the lyrics are not the kind of wordplay that makes Nick Lowe a genius, nor the vocal passion that trademarks Roy Orbison, but Nick and Roy belongs to a different pantheon entirely. What Hawley is doing here is turning cliches around and upside down, perfectly respectable in my book, and singing them with the kind of integrity that honors the emotions behind the otherwise stock imagery.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By An honest cook on September 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album has it all: lyrical depth, melodic beauty, gorgeous instrumentation. It's symphonic. It rocks. It's informed by peerless craft as well as divine inspiration. It has an arc: it builds, with not an ounce of filler, from beginning to end.

And as if that weren't enough (and it would be better than 99.9% of all the other music out there if it ended there) it comes wrapped up in one of the most beautiful and distinctive singing voices of our time. Like everyone says, Richard Hawley's voice conjurs the ghosts of Orbison and Scott Walker, but it's entirely his own and so damn expressive it can take your breath away.

Each song is its own little gem. But there are stand-outs: the title song and "The Ocean" are two of the greatest songs of the last 10 years. At least.

Please buy this album. Your life will be much the richer for it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By alexander laurence on September 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is Richard Hawley's third solo record. He has quite an international reputation as a solid songwriter. He has played with the Sheffield-based Britpop bands Longpigs and Pulp. He has even produced records for A Girl Called Eddy and Nancy Sinatra. He also collaborated with Jarvis Cocker on the Relaxed Muscle project. His own music is very distinct though. It is in the tradition of Scott Walker, Roy Orbison, Lee Hazelwood, and Leonard Cohen. His last three records stand up there with traditionalists like Nick Cave and Tom Waits. There is a new rawness to this record. Hawley is obsessed with the production of the Sun Studios. His music is delicate and conveys emotion almost too directly. It's hard to listen to this sometimes because it sends chills up the spine. That is true of Tom Waits records too. The name "Coles Corner" was an actual meeting place in Sheffield. Most of this record is like a piece of his hometown. The first song Hawley says "I am going downtown where there is music..." and it sounds like we are off on a musical journey. There are some songs with string sections and they sound like movie soundtracks, but some songs like "Just Like The Rain" is mostly acoustic guitar and voice. The song "Hotel Room" is much like a doo-wop song that one can imagine in a David Lynch film. "The Ocean" is one of the best Hawley songs ever. I heard this song a while ago and it is totally memorable. It is weird that a lot of this American roots music and early rock and roll is forgotten in America, but quite popular in England and Scotland. Richard Hawley creates another great album. He is a true artist. I don't throw that term around lightly.
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