Hugh Laurie has an impressive list of accomplishments. Most know him as the wise-cracking limping cynic House, star of the hit television show of the same name. Before that he had a career in film as a comedian, with plenty of bit parts to make his face a familiar one. At least, he would be familiar if he didn’t so completely become the character that he represents.
He was born in England, and was made famous for his comedic act of the “Fry and Laurie” double act. Recently, however, Laurie has been making headlines not with his acting career, but his music.
Earlier this year he released the blues/jazz album “Let Them Talk.” His success with the album is made even more impressive when one considers how poorly jazz and blues albums have been selling in the last few years. He certainly delivers with his album; he pulls together big band sound without being lost in the background, moving between different styles and sounds as he switches between songs. “Six Cold Feet,” the album’s third track, is about as classic blues as a song can get, but the sound is still rounded out with saxophone to play against his mournful singing, while “They’re Red Hot” is a toe tapping New Orleans sounding jazz song, that’s fun and upbeat.
There is one glaring problem with the album however; it isn’t Hugh Laurie’s hit blues album, it’s coming from Gregory House. Hugh Laurie started as an English comic, and none of that sound is here. The album sounds as if the musically inclined doctor House left the hospital to bring this together.
Laurie is a talented enough voice talent and singer that the difference is subtle at times, and it could be argued he is singing with an American accent because it is an American style of music. This is more than likely the case on some of the songs, but in a few cases it feels like the song would be that much more potent if Laurie had just sang the song while being himself.
That being said, the album is a good pick up for blues fans, and for fan’s of the show; a fun break from the regular flow of music coming through the works. Hugh Laurie proves that he is much more talented than anyone gives him credit for. Hopefully the success of this album convinces him to make another, one where he will loosen up a bit and play something closer to home.