Hugh Laurie returns with his second album, “Didn’t It Rain”

Didn't It RainI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Hugh Laurie is a ridiculously talented man. While famous around the world for playing the much loved doctor in the television series House, in which he also put on a quite convincing American accent (he’s British), he started off his career in the world of comedy, often alongside Stephen Fry in such shows as Blackadder, A Bit Of Fry And Laurie, and Jeeves and Wooster. Top all this off with several movie appearances, and even the novel he wrote, The Gun Seller, and the fact that he has now turned to music and released his second album kind of makes him seem like a show off. But, with talent like this, he’s allowed to show off.

His first album,Β Let Them Talk, ventured into the New Orleans style of blues music, as he covered many of his lifelong favourite songs with musicians who he has always looked up to. With his follow up album,Β Didn’t It Rain, he continues this bluesy sound but explores music from the rest of America from this same time period. The main album has thirteen tracks, though there is a deluxe version with an extra five track disc that is worth getting if only for this song, “Unchain My Heart” (and his little talk at the start of the clip is quite funny – you’ll see why):

There are some definite differences between this new album and his first. While he took lead vocals on almost all of the tracks on his first album, this time around he shares lead vocal duties with the incredibly talented Jean McClain and Gaby Moreno on three tracks each, and Taj Mahal sings lead vocals on another song. The extra voices, particularly the strong female vocals, really add a lot to this album, giving it a very different mood to the first. There’s a lot of slower or quieter songs near the start too, although it starts to liven up a bit in the second half, which I quite like.

Reading through the liner notes, Hugh Laurie is very modest about playing these songs, and makes it clear that he does it because he loves the music so much, and they clearly mean so much to him. He brings each and every song to life in his own unique way, with that surprisingly strong and crisp voice of his, and he explains the story behind each song in the album notes as well – he hasn’t just chosen a bunch of songs at random but has very carefully selected what he wants to sing and perform.

After a few listens, I find myself almost as impressed with this new album as I was with his first, which is saying a lot. If you haven’t heard Hugh Laurie’s music yet, you really are missing out – it’s a lot of fun, and very addictive to listen to. I’ll finish off with another of my favourite tracks, “Wild Honey”:

What are your thoughts on Hugh Laurie as a musician and singer?

13 thoughts on “Hugh Laurie returns with his second album, “Didn’t It Rain”

  1. I love that Laurie’s going strong with the music and I’m also pleased to see that I can find the album on spotify πŸ™‚ If not with the five extra song at least with one extra song, the one you put up here, Unchain my heart! (waves pompoms while cheering *Yayy! Go Spotify!*) and no I’m not weird, thank you very much)) πŸ˜‰

    • Oh wow, that was quick for it to appear on spotify already! πŸ˜€ Good that it has Unchain My Heart added to it as well, it seems like that is already quite a popular song off the album! πŸ™‚
      And no, of course you’re not weird *cough* πŸ˜‰ (to be fair, who said weird was a bad thing?)

  2. so glad to hear a good review! I saw that it was coming out, but forgot the date — not sure if it’s available here in the States yet, but I so want to buy it! He’s very modest in the liner notes on “Let Them Talk”, too. (And he was fantastic performing the album!) I hope he comes around again on a tour for the new one πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

    • I think it was out in the States just a few days after it was released here in Australia, so I’d say it’d be out by now. I would love to see him on tour, though I can’t imagine him coming all the way to Australia, but I can hope hahaha.
      But yeah, if you liked Let Them Talk, you’ll like this. It takes a couple of listens to warm up to it, I must admit, but it has grown on me quite a lot. πŸ™‚

      • Good to hear! I looked on Amazon and it said it I could pre-order for its release on May 17. Not sure if that was just Amazon or everywhere – haven’t looked in any stores. I’m looking forward to listening to it πŸ™‚

  3. A very talented fellow! I was impressed that he also played piano as he sang. His voice wasn’t what I expected. I thought it would have been more base, but I do like the bluesy aspect to it. The line, “I’m a Jack-of-all-trades” in ‘Wild Honey’ certainly fits him, with all the different things he’s done. πŸ™‚

    • It’s funny, because I remember watching Hugh Laurie playing piano and singing back in his comedy days some 20, 25 years ago, so I’ve always been aware of his musicality long before he became as famous as he is now for both his music and his (considerably more serious) acting. I think he’s got a great voice, and even though I know he’s putting on the American accent, he does it so well that he gets away with it – the songs wouldn’t sound right if he sang in his British accent.
      I agree, that line about being the jack-of-all-trades really fits him so well! πŸ™‚

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