In the world of moneyed mediocrity, it doesn’t feel right to be picking on Richard Hawley (of all people), but his latest record makes you think. He is a songwriter you can respect and admire and appreciate and God knows what else, but I can’t imagine one single person who would say that Richard Hawley is their favourite artist. I’m not saying this isn’t possible, but it’s highly unlikely and would seem rather odd.
Hollow Meadows sounds like a painfully fitting album title.
You could argue that each one of these 11 new songs is well written and beautifully crooned in that low-key, old-fashioned way that hasn’t lost all of its appeal. It’s charming, it’s tasteful, but there’s little you could do about the severe lack of identity. Hawley can be special for some, obviously. However, let’s face it: anyone and anything can be special. But if someone tells me he is their favourite artist on account of his music (which is good music, don’t get me wrong), my immediate response would be ‘you should get out more’.
In view of this, it’s somewhat frustrating that I can very much imagine how Miley Cyrus could be someone’s favourite artist. On account of the fucking music. Tragic, really.