Hugh Cornwell THE FALL AND RISE OF HUGH CORNWELL

Invisible Hands Music

Best from former Stranglers frontman

Inevitably still best known as the front man of the Stranglers, Hugh Cornwell has in fact been ploughing a solo path since 1990, and this ‘best of’ release has two tracks from each of his solo albums (except FOOTPRINTS IN THE DESERT) plus, in that annoying way common with this sort of album, one new recording, Live It And Breathe It. As such it’s a good representation of his solo career, and as such it’s solid but some way from outstanding.

All the musical signifiers are present and correct: Choppy guitars, hard beats, the occasional trippy moment (the Beatles-recalling Lay Back On Me Pal) and a proper rock feel. But somehow it isn’t quite enough. And that’s because of the songs. The lightweight Please Don’t Put Me On A Slow Boat To Trowbridge is entertaining but that’s offset by Beat Of My Heart which says nothing very much at all. The best thing about Hot Cat On A Tin Roof is the title while Leave Me Alone would be much better beefed up. And in a world where great songwriters are, if not two a penny, certainly plentiful, that’s nowhere near enough. One for hardcore fans only. Jeremy Searle

www.hughcornwell.com

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