Richard Hawley's an acquired taste. A taste I try to acquire every so often but just can't quite.
I was listening to the songs on his myspace the other day. Probably the fourth time I've heard them.
"You've got a better voice than him," Betty said to me. "But he's a more passionate singer. You're detached from the songs."
Not that I've got any songs of my own. I sing covers - in the bathroom, the kitchen, the bedroom and the living room. I don't sing in the loft as I'm usually puffing, blowing and swearing when I'm up there.
I once dreamt I went to Richard Hawley's house. It was large and sparsely decorated. Massive rooms contained nothing but Marshall amps. He lived near a railway track and took us for a walk through his orchard to watch the trains go by. All the time we were there he never sang a note. He was overbearingly serious.
How many times does one have to experience an acquired taste to acquire that taste? I'm willing to give Richard Hawley a few more goes. He appears on the new Elbow album so I can't avoid him there. Unless I skip that track which wouldn't be the done thing as albums are meant to be listened to from start to end. The track with Richard Hawley on is my least favourite track on the Elbow album.
Then again, some people might say Elbow were an acquired taste and that Richard Hawley has a wonderful immediacy.
So is this acquired taste business a load of old bollocks? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everybody has different eyesight which changes over the years. Unless you're the Jean-Michel Jarre fan I used to know, in which case Jarre is God, always will be and nobody else comes close.