Eat your heart out, Jack White
The omnipresence of Richard Hawley is a challenge to describe. Yet, before delving into the nuances of his latest solo record, Standing at the Sky’s Edge, it seems essential or just plain respectful to mention that this man is everywhere. He writes with Lisa Marie Presley, collaborates with Elbow and Jarvis Cocker, plays with Echo and the Bunnymen and Billy Bragg, duets with Nancy Sinatra, and is an adjacent member of Pulp. The list hardly ends there.
Jack White can eat this guy’s dust.
Standing at the Sky’s Edge is a dark and reverberating little beauty. It’s very Pulp-y, but that’s hardly a shock. Heavily seasoned with squealing and gravelly guitar effects, the first half of the tracks have a goth-gone-groovy feel; like a slightly gentler Bauhaus.
Come mid-point, the record takes a sharp turn for croonier pastures for a series of serenades, including the very enjoyable and image-rich “Don’t Stare at the Sun.” He concludes with a pretty blend of the two styles in “Before,” a mellow epic that is sure to wrap its infectious tendrils ‘round the memory centers of any attentive listener.
Though there’s no dearth of Mr. Hawley to listen to out there in the big bad world, this record is a nice accessible addition to his substantial body of solo work.