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Boomkat Product Review:
After the blanket adulation he received for Coles Corner, Richard Hawley returns with what's sure to be another Mercury-baiting long player. Lady's Bridge is an album that has no concern with pushing anything forward or reinventing Hawley's musical persona, instead it's an album that bases itself in unashamedly classic principles of songwriting. Hawley taps directly into a variety of artists past - evoking Lee Hazelwood and Neil Diamond for starters - but with a very current preoccupation with social commentary and regional relevance. Hawley is as much a Sheffielder as Arctic Monkeys or his old pal Jarvis Cocker, but replaces much of the wordiness and grit of those artists with a sense of dignified traditionalism. When Hawley sings about his city, it's on songs like 'Roll River Roll' or the title track (itself named after an old Sheffield landmark), both loaded with an unabashed romanticism you just don't ordinarily hear from a British artist writing about their hometown. The arrangements reflect that romanticism, unafraid to throw a string section at a song when it's called for. That's an especially effective manoeuvre on the opener 'Valentine' which swells up to considerable levels of bombast at the chorus, playing as a beautiful counterpart to Hawley's weary croon. 'Tonight These Streets Are Ours' is even more grandiose, and benefits from a shift into a mood of buoyant defiance that breaks from Hawley's more moderate, middle-ground default setting. This Deluxe Edition comes with a bonus DVD featuring a thirty-minute short film (made by those good folks at Warp Films, no less) taking in live footage, interviews and general behind the scenes tomfoolery, plus the video to 'Tonight The Streets Are Ours'.