Graham Reid | | <1 min read
If you believed what you read in the British press about this album by former Longpigs and Pulp guitarist you'd probably cross the street to avoid it.
Distance lends us a better view I suspect, because Hawley's swooning croon (which at various times brings to mind Morrissey, Scott Walker, Roy Orbison and others with rich, dark and melodic voices) is utterly entrancing, and this reflective collection of lyrically intelligent songs drags you in to his moody romanticism.
Recording while his father lost a three-year fight with cancer, Cole's Bridge is a tribute to the Sheffield steelworker who played in bands at might and inspired his son to play guitar.
But it is also a beautiful homage to the city itself and those who have lived and suffered there, and it must extert a melancholy tug for those who have left.
The title is a reference to the bridge which joins the two sides of the city -- poor and rich -- but also has a metaphorical meaning for Hawley.
From the Sun Studio slap of Serious through the haunting Tonight The Streets Are Ours (a swelling ballad with a powerful social subtext) and the melodramatic ballads full of yearning this is an album with depth and texture and, despite what you may have read in the British media, certainly one of the best albums of the year.