Let Them Talk - Hugh Laurie
1 CD(s) - Blues - Label: Warner Bros. - Distributor: Arvato Services, Arvato Services; Proper - Released: 09/05/2011 - 825646734092, 825646740789
6 reviews from the community
Review of "Let Them Talk - Hugh Laurie"
I want to post and rate more reviews than I am but am very busy!
The album ‘Let Them Talk’ by Hugh Laurie was one that I had been meaning to buy ever since it was released. Due to his magnificent comedy and drama acting in ‘House’ and ‘Blackadder’, to name but two of many amazing programmes he has starred in, as well as his brilliant sketches with partner Stephen Fry in ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’, I have been a great fan of Mr Laurie for many years now. His career has come a long way and he has become something that you would not have expected from his dopey, wide-eyed and innocent look in his sketch show or his spectacular performance as the daft and delightfully thick Prince Regent. Successful though the earlier years of his career were, it’s almost amazing to think that this is the same person who became one of the most famous actors in the world for his depiction of the title role in ‘House’. Despite already being a household name in the United Kingdom, American audiences were less familiar with him and many were shocked to discover that his flawless US accent was fake and that his natural voice is as English as tea and scones. Despite coming from a background that was, at least from the outside, privileged (he went to school at Eton before studying at Cambridge), Hugh has done exceptionally well in becoming one of Hollywood’s finest as well as being a well respected comic actor in his own country.But of course, Mr Laurie’s talents do not merely lie in acting. He of course has written comedy as part of Cambridge Footlights and even wrote a novel (‘The Gun Seller’), but unsurprisingly, he is also a talented musician. Anyone who has seen ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ should remember Hugh’s various comedy songs that featured throughout the series, in which he demonstrated his comedy stylings as well as his able singing and piano skills. Given his success in other aspects of showbiz it was therefore unsurprisingly when it was announced that he would be releasing an album. Despite awaiting it with some eagerness, I forgot about its existence until just recently, when I finally got around to purchasing and downloading it from the iTunes store.
While I wouldn’t strictly class myself as a fan of the blues, I am by no means averse to it, and so didn’t let the genre of this album put me off in any way. In fact, I rather relished the thought of listening to a genre of music with which I am less familiar, although after having listened to this album several times, I am beginning to think that buying a classic blues album or compilation would have been a better introduction to the genre than this album is. Good music it certainly is, but I wouldn’t say that ‘Let Them Talk’ is an album that I loved on first hearing or even on subsequent listenings.This album is somewhat hard to either praise or criticise precisely as, on the surface, there is nothing wrong with it intrinsically, yet I have not been blown away by it. Hugh’s voice is great and suits the blues music well (using his American accent rather than his English one, which I am more used to hearing him sing in) and the music itself is well played with good tunes and rhythms throughout. I do find myself enjoying and replaying songs such as ‘You Don’t Know My Mind’ and ‘They’re Red Hot’ but in general I doubt that the album would be one that would be sitting in my CD player should I have a hard copy of it.
The best example of why this album falls short of being great is with the song ‘John Henry’. A character from American history and folklore, many artists have recorded songs about the man as well as him having featured in literature, with Laurie only been the most recent to have done so. I in fact had heard of him only because of another song which was performed by Bruce Springsteen and which featured on his Seeger Sessions album ‘We Shall Overcome’. I therefore found Laurie’s song to be recognisable in a way I only put my finger one once I looked up the name of the track and soon realised that as well as being about the same man, both songs also share some very similar lyrics. I then decided to play both songs next to each other and have to say that, compared to the majesty that is The Boss, wor Hugh didn’t stand a chance. While Springsteen’s rendering of the song is cheerful and upbeat and features some amazing music, Laurie’s is (even for a blues song) a bit too slow and sad for my taste. When switching to listening to Bruce’s album I found myself not overly enthusiastic about going back to Hugh’s, which is a clear sign that it isn’t an album that I wholeheartedly enjoy.That all said, it is by no means an album that I dislike, and had I not been aware of Hugh Laurie before purchasing it (had I been living under the proverbial large rock since before I was born, perhaps) I perhaps would have felt differently about the album, but whether I would have liked it more or less I could not say. I feel like I want to like it more than I actually do, as if I’m being disloyal to the man who played Wooster and the stupid Prince Regent by not being overly keen. Whenever I decide that I don’t really like the album, however, I find myself singing along to its songs such as ‘Baby Please Make a Change’, which is a pretty good song, or enjoying the rhythm of ‘Jericho’.
A rating is therefore difficult to give. If I wasn’t required to give a rating out of 5 here, I would give this album a 6.5/10 and leave it at that, as although I generally enjoy it, it’s not a great album and so I can’t really rate it much higher than that. At £7.99 for an iTunes download it’s good value if you enjoy it, especially considering that it consists of 15 tracks and lasts just under an hour, and I wouldn’t say that I regret spending that money on it. Had it cost £12 or thereabouts, however, I would have felt more disappointed with my purchase as I really don’t think it’s worth that considering how much I enjoyed it.In conclusion, by no means a bad album, but not a fantastic one either. Hugh has done better.
Product Information : Let Them Talk - Hugh Laurie
Manufacturer's product description1 CD(s) - Blues - Label: Warner Bros. - Distributor: Arvato Services, Arvato Services; Proper - Released: 09/05/2011 - 825646734092, 825646740789
EAN: 825646734092, 825646740789
Listed on Ciao since: 23/12/2010