Hugh Laurie
Didn't It Rain


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthew Hopkins USER (44 Reviews)
May 5th, 2013 | 27 replies


Release Date: 05/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Less Laurie, more blues.

I'm British and so is Hugh Laurie, although many people do not know that. He first became famous in the USA when he appeared as the grumpy and drug addicted Dr. Gregory House M.D. But he was first known in the UK nearly two decades eariler, first as a recurring character in Blackadder II, and finally as one of the main characters in Blackadder the Third and goes Forth. It was during these early years of his career and later on as one half of the team of Fry and Laurie, that he began to show his musical talent, albeit in a comical way. In recent years he has turned his head to music, specifically the music of blues, which was a big influence when he was a child.

For many years I was a blues virgin, always intending to listen to some blues but never getting around to it. My first blues album was Laurie's first album, Let It Be, so I was damn excited when he announced another. Didn't It Rain moves away from the 'man and piano' style of the first album and into a larger variety of blues. Due to this change in style, Laurie is forced to add a bigger backing group, instruments and all. But does adding all this new music really add to the album? Or is it a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth?

From the first moments of the opening track, it is obvious that this machine is a different make to the one that came before it. From the opening wind section to the closing wind section, this album has a good selection of quality blues for both those new to the blues genre and for those who have more experience. There is real emotion laced within this music, going from scenes of pure bliss, to the depths of true pain and suffering. Laurie is able to use his many years as an actor to bring so much pain to his voice that you'd think his wife left him after booting him in the balls.

Didn't It Rain contains some brilliant covers across its duration, the excellently well done 'Weed Smokers Song' is a brilliant classic, and the female vocalist pulls it off to a tee, brining back sweet memories of when Jessica Rabbit sung the same song to a smitten Bob Hoskins in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'

However the album does have occasional flaws, the biggest critique being Laurie's occasional reluctance to take the stage when it comes to singing. Several of the songs have him purely on the piano, leaving someone else to take the centre stage. This isn't generally a bad thing, and many of the guest vocalists have excellent talent as bluesmen / women. Laurie's accent is something which is not very common to the blues genre, a middle-class British man, but for some reason is seems to fix perfectly and gives the album a specific sparkle.

In addition, there is the issue that this music is mostly a collection of classic blues songs, and many of these songs have several covers of them already, including the classic original versions, as such these new shiny ones may not be everyones cup of tea. Also the album does tend to a sound a wee bit similar as time flows on, despite how fantastic the majority of it is.

Didn't It Rain is an excellent second album by Hugh Laurie, and a brand spanking fantastic record worth a few spins on the vinyl player. This is a chilling record to drink alone to after your wife leaves you for a younger man, taking the house and the dog with her. You have nothing left, except the clothes on your body, the shoes on your feet and your wallet in your pocket. It's an album well deserving of the feeling blue, it will have you in it's grasp from the opening seconds to its final moments. Stand out tracks include 'The Weed Smokers Song' and 'The St. Louis Blues', which show the musical skill of a man who has only just tip toed into the fantastic world of blues. Let us all hope that Laurie is here to stay.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
May 5th 2013


634 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Comes out on my side of the pond today, got the album whilst it was streaming for free. Review is originally posted here. http://meltingalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/hugh-laurie-didnt-it-rain/

cagedescending
May 5th 2013


4124 Comments


shit still haven't even listened to his other one i'm so behind

good review

Fry & Laurie rules

Hep Kat
May 5th 2013


15351 Comments


im sure this is good. Ill check it out when it's up on spotify or somethin

Spec
May 5th 2013


27179 Comments


I had no idea.

Hoppoman
May 5th 2013


634 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's well worth it, Laurie's voice is buttery smooth.

Spec
May 5th 2013


27179 Comments


Ill have to check this.

TheSupernatural
May 5th 2013


1208 Comments


I own the first one, have to check this out.

Pos'd

Digging: Finch (US) - Back to Oblivion

Gyromania
May 5th 2013


15791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review. can't wait to hear this

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Gyromania
May 5th 2013


15791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shame not many know about blackadder

cagedescending
May 5th 2013


4124 Comments


i haven't watched it in years
should do a marathon soon, I-IV

Hoppoman
May 5th 2013


634 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah, but he sounds British so don't think you'll be getting a House sounding song.

cagedescending
May 5th 2013


4124 Comments


"this guy sings?"

indeed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__DrJI7mTHQ

toxin.
May 5th 2013


12496 Comments


hugh laurie is the man, i'm gonna check this out

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


23843 Comments


damn new album from Hugh. I liked the first one, will check.

Gyromania
May 5th 2013


15791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hugh laurie is so gifted. loving this

TheMoonchild
May 5th 2013


487 Comments


AMERICA

AMERICA

AMERICA

AMERICA




THE STATES

THE STATES

Eclecticist
May 6th 2013


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album rules so far and is definitely better than his debut.

Mewcopa0
May 8th 2013


1800 Comments


I liked some stuff off the debut, I'll have to check this out.

omnipanzer
May 29th 2013


21552 Comments


"This album rules so far and is definitely better than his debut."

Big words, I will need to get this.

Hoppoman
May 29th 2013


634 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd have to agree, I'd say it's a better showing than his debut.



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