x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Hugh Laurie: Didn't It Rain

You can't fault Laurie's determination. He has a lot to offer to the music world.

Hugh Laurie's album Didn't It Rain.
Hugh Laurie's album Didn't It Rain.

Hugh Laurie
Didn’t It Rain

Warner Bros
**

The actor Hugh Laurie’s 2011 debut blues and jazz collection Let Them Talk succeeded because of its tightness – the problem with the similar-themed Didn’t It Rain is it’s rather bloated.

The issue is the weak song selection, the major factor powering the success of Let Them Talk. The opener St Louis Blues takes nearly a minute to kick in after its forced instrumental opening; it is as if Laurie needs to once again prove his musical credentials.

Junkers Blues doesn’t fully convince, as Laurie’s clean vocals lack the grit needed to sing a tale of a hardened junkie. Meanwhile, the wafer-light I Hate A Man Like You and Evenin’ are on the other end of the scale – a forgettable performance you would come across by a nameless in-house hotel band.

There are moments when Laurie shines: Wild Honey raises the blood pressure with its bar-room boogie and his duet with the Guatemalan musician Gaby Moreno on the tango-laced Kiss of Fire is seductive. You can’t fault Laurie’s determination. He has a lot to offer to the music world, but what’s needed here is more of the trademark focus of his acting work.

sasaeed@thenational.ae

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