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Album: Richard Hawley, Standing at the Sky's Edge (Mute)


Taken on its own merits, Standing at the Sky's Edge is a classy, well-made record.

In the context of Hawley's career, however, it's a bewildering move. The former Longpigs and sometime Pulp guitarist has rightly won countless plaudits for a solo career typified by epic romanticism. Seven albums in, one can understand why he might wish to try something new. Instead, he's tried something very old. Beginning with a series of plodding mid-tempo ragas, all twanging sitars and super-flanged vocals. If it wasn't Hawley, you'd be thinking "token psychedelic track on a Gallagher brother's album". Hawley does psychedelic rock with more style, elegance and panache than most. None of which answers the question: why would he want to?