Coles Corner

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Coles Corner is Richard Hawley's fourth solo offering. He still tours as a guitarist with Pulp and does session work for a number of artists, but it is clear from his catalog that his true passion lies with making his own records. His production style is simple yet elegant, warm and graceful, with lots of space for the listener to enter into. Hawley's love of Roy Orbison, Elvis, and Scott Walker has left the best possible mark on him as a singer and songwriter: He understands that in writing a song, it's the ability to make the song something immediately available to the listener as either a lived or desired experience. He paints his lyrics with melodies to get that across, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Coles Corner is Richard Hawley's fourth solo offering. He still tours as a guitarist with Pulp and does session work for a number of artists, but it is clear from his catalog that his true passion lies with making his own records. His production style is simple yet elegant, warm and graceful, with lots of space for the listener to enter into. Hawley's love of Roy Orbison, Elvis, and Scott Walker has left the best possible mark on him as a singer and songwriter: He understands that in writing a song, it's the ability to make the song something immediately available to the listener as either a lived or desired experience. He paints his lyrics with melodies to get that across, then records with the intention of creating a world at once familiar and somehow utterly dreamy and new, timeless. Coles Corner is an intimate collection of love songs most of them broken, where sadness and melancholy are carefully housed in forms and frames that understand the weight of the emotion communicated without letting the emotion overwhelm the song itself. They are saturated in tenderness and the heart of true romantic, not self pity or bitterness.. Coles Corner is an actual place, a corner in Sheffield, Hawley's hometown, where people have met and encountered one another by chance, to hang out, rendezvous, and commiserate since 1905. This song cycle reflects the hope experienced in some of those chance encounters as it flowers and then withers and dies. Sounds like a downer, but Hawley's melancholy is so rich and empathetic, so devoid of self pity and self assessment, it is anything but. The title track that opens the set is like the beginning of as a suite or a movie theme. The Colin Elliot arranged strings ease in John Trier's piano and Hawley's voice, offering a snapshot from a man who stands alone on that corner, looking, waiting, deciding. His willingness to step out into a world of chance, into the world of people who all know what he feels is stirring. The ballad echoes Scott Walker's own vision of a world seen from outside as the protagonist's desire to enter becomes movement toward something unknown and unexpected. This is a pop song written as, and sung like, a standard from the Great American Songbook. "Just Like the Rain" is its mirror image, a song fueled by thin, shimmering guitars, articulated against movement, restlessness, and the desire to return to something left, to find the ghost that has haunted the singer. Here, echoes of Mickey Newbury's and Johnny Cash's stylized country story songs "Sleep Alone" Charlie Rich's and Roy Orbison's balladry "Darlin Wait for Me" permeate Hawley's delivery; they alternate with traces of Walker, Jacques Brel, and even the Frank Sinatra of "In the Wee Small Hours" "The Ocean" to incarnate something completely and utterly his own. "Hotel Room," is an old-school rock & roll crooned ballad that iterates the magical nature of a tryst that feels like it exists outside of time and space and the margins of the universe are demarcated by four walls and a bed the lovers sanctuary. And so it goes. Reveries, nostalgia, longed-for wishes, regret, sadness, and the bittersweet mark of the beloved left on the heart of the left and lost. Early rock & roll and rockabilly, country, traces of the vintage-'40s pop, jazz, and even some blues, fall together in a seamless, nearly rapturous whole. Hawley's guitar sound, ringing like a voice from another present era, steps beyond dimension to underscore the emotion and story in his voice. There isn't a moment on Coles Corner that doesn't stand up, doesn't fall into the next, giving them all uncommon, even singular depth and dimension. And the singer's voice conjures shadows, glimmers of soft light, street lamps, tears, and the sound of lonely steps on a rainy midnight street. Coles Corner is glorious, magical, and utterly lovely in its vision, articulation, and execution. Hawley is a songwriter and musician in his own category.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/6/2005
  • Label: Wb / Parlophone
  • UPC: 724596929728
  • Catalog Number: 9297
  • Sales rank: 51,763

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Richard Hawley Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Drums, Glockenspiel, Electric Guitar, Lyre, Vocals, Steel Drums, 12-string Guitar, Vibes, Hammered Dulcimer, Omnichord, spanish guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar, Guitar (12 String Electric), Guitar (12 String Acoustic), Guitar (Baritone)
Colin Elliot Percussion, Piano, Electric Bass, Background Vocals, Baritone (Vocal), Upright Bass, Guitar (Baritone)
Andy Cook Drums
Simon Graham Viola
Liz Hanks Cello
Naomi Koop Viola
Shez Sheridan Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Guitar (12 String Electric), Guitar (12 String Acoustic), Guitar (Baritone)
Gaynor Sutcliffe Violin
Lizzie Ball Violin
Lizz Lipscombe Violin
Susannah Simmons Violin
John Trier Piano, Glockenspiel, Vibes, fender rhodes
Gaynor Sutcliffe Violin
Johnny Woods Upright Bass
Technical Credits
Nick Phillips Cover Design
Duncan Cowell Mastering
Colin Elliot Producer, Engineer, String Arrangements, Audio Production
Richard Hawley Arranger, Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Traditional Composer
Mike Timm Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
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