It isn't really necessary to listen to Richard Hawley's latest album to find out what it's about. The front cover depicts Hawley - his name in lights above him - holding a bouquet of flowers intended for his forthcoming date. The scene is set for an evening of romance but turn to the back cover shot and all dreams are crushed as the same bouquet is unceremoniously pictured in a litter bin. This is an indication that nothing has changed in Hawley's outlook but Sheffield's classiest crooner is now surrounded by lush arrangements; perhaps now affordable after almost universal praise for his previous recordings. Sure enough, Hawley fits into these settings like a pair of comfortable slippers as the songs edge ever more towards easy listening. The obvious standout moment would be 'The Ocean', featuring glistening guitar, soaring strings and Hawley's vocal drawing ever more from his deep, deep wells of melancholy. However, the quality of the track is matched by 'Tonight' in which the "unlucky in love" sentiment of the cover art is recalled in another beautiful song. Likewise, traditional instrumental 'Last Orders' makes for a poignant finale. There are times when Hawley almost seems to be sleepwalking through this record but on the occasions when he's good, he's still very good indeed.