ALBUM REVIEW: Hugh Laurie – “Let Them Talk”

Hugh Laurie Let Them Talk

Year of the Album — #031
Hugh Laurie – “Let Them Talk” (2011, Warner Bros. Records) 

From the opening notes of “St. James Infirmary,” it’s clear that Hugh Laurie is not fucking around with Let Them Talk, the British actor’s first foray into launching a music career. You might be prone to laugh, if it weren’t for Laurie’s impeccable chops as a bluesman. This is a serious attempt at bringing a great deal of New Orleans flair to the table, and Laurie’s even got Allen Toussaint around to provide spectacular horn arrangements. Give the album a chance and you’ll be converted. By the time Let Them Talk has played out in its full glory, you’ll have forgotten this is a blues album by an actor. It’ll be more “where’s this guy been all these years?”

The album is comprised of a series of classic blues songs, many of which feature Laurie performing alongside the likes of Tom Jones, Irma Thomas, and Dr. John. Produced by Joe Henry, the album plays out as a serious endeavor, and Laurie comes at these songs with real relish. On the title track he lets his voice and piano tell it all, and holding that song up to the light on its own merits it seems to completely sum up his motives. “Let them whisper because they know not what’s between you and I,” he sings. “I’m gonna keep on, I’m gonna keep on loving you ‘til the day that I die.” If that’s the case, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many who have heard Let Them Talk who will be disappointed if Hugh Laurie was to take more opportunities to let his musical side shine.

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87 thoughts on “ALBUM REVIEW: Hugh Laurie – “Let Them Talk”

    • Thanks for reading! 🙂 I think there’s probably a lot more of House in Laurie than he’d probably want to admit, but that means he gets down to busines and his album’s worth taking seriously. He’s not just latching onto the blues, he’s living and breathing it.

  1. I will have to listen to his album before I criticize. But it did take him long enough for him to come out with one. Although I do understand why.

    • I’ve heard rumors that he’s considering leaving House after next year to focus more fully on his music. Considering he’s always written music, even back to his Fry and Laurie days, I can understand he’s interested in putting more effort into the music end. And being on television twenty weeks out of the year means a lot of time spent on that end of things 🙂

  2. To cool. Glad I found I your site. I’ve noticed Laurie lurking around the past few years in various incarnations musically. Have to check this out. Keep up the cool work!

    • Thanks! I didn’t get a chance to log on until this afternoon, and the sudden influx of readers was mindblowing 😉 Glad you enjoyed the article. Hugh’s the real deal, pure and simple.

  3. I think Laurie is better as a musican than a singer. I saw him play couple of his tracks from the album live, and his vocals are somewhat bland in my view. Then again- loved the material though… and I love your blog!

    • Yeah he’s doing his American accent on the vocals … I think he might sound more authentic if he didn’t have to rely on affectations, but for a debut album I think he hits mostly the right notes. I really love his piano playing though so I agree with you there! Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. The music business is ferociously competitive.

    Mr. Laurie is a very talented actor and motorcyclist.

    I believe his father was a doctor, which might help in one of his roles but its hard to beat Dr. Findlays casebook or Emergency Ward 10.

    I guess Mr. Laurie is doing this because he can, he patently does not need the money.

    Do you get the blues thinking about those with a surplus of talent and money?

    • Nah, not really. I’m glad he’s doing something he enjoys. And then we get a chance to hear music written by blues musicians who otherwise might be forgotten.

  5. If you want a laugh check out him & Stephen Fry as Jeeves & Wooster singing and playing the piano together. Different sort of music than serious jazz endeavors, but still enjoyable. Laurie is always a pristine performer.

    Thanks for your review.

  6. Check out Jeeves and Wooster if you’re a Hugh Laurie fan or a fan of British humor. It’s on youtube. He’s really changed his look!

    • Yep love the Fry and Laurie stuff. You’re the second person to mention that particular sketch 😉 A great one can’t fly under the radar. Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. Thanks for the write. As an appreciator of Laurie acting skills; I believe you have did him well on this review. I’m going to check-out “Let Them Talk. Thank you!

  8. can’t wait to download this albulm. been looking for something bluesy…and happen to be a big fan of “House” so i’ll give this a try!

    • Be sure to come back and tell us all what you think 🙂 We need to keep the conversation going. And feel free to browse through the rest of the site, since you never know what you might find that you didn’t even know you were looking for 😉

  9. Hugh Laurie also competed in the Oxford / Cambridge boat race in the 80s. He was on the radio the other morning explaining that he could do such a good interview because he started the day with a whisky! Cool guy.

  10. Thanks for this review! I love everything High Laurie is in, and I knew he was a talented musician as well, but I had no idea he had an album out. Will certainly look into it.

  11. I was shocked when I heard about Hugh Laurie’s singing career. To me, he’ll always just be House. Regardless, great review!

    • He’ll definitely be typecast from House, that’s for sure. Glad he gets a chance to branch out though … you can’t be one thing forever, unless you’re David Caruso 😉

  12. Marvy! I like Mr Laurie, and you mentioned “St James Infirmary Blues”– one of my favorites.

    In short… I’m sold.

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  15. I absolutely loved this album. I like him more as a musician than I do an actor now – and I love me some Dr. House. This album just feels so organic and rich with emotion. It’s by far been my favorite writing-jam soundtrack to date. Tipitina haunts my dreams! I love it.

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    • Glad you checked it out. Thanks for visiting “Hear, Hear!” and responding to my posts 🙂 Hope you stick around awhile! We’re always glad to have more people involved in the conversation 🙂

  19. Laurie has let us peak at his talents on his acclaimed TV series, House. I had no idea those notes would flourish into a full album. I hope this is on iTunes….

    Congrats on FP 🙂

    • Glad you found it! With all the people going through and saying they’re gonna check the album out, maybe he’ll see a spike on Billboard next week! lol … doubt I’m that important 🙂

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  22. Thanks for the good review. I have always loved Hugh Laurie. He has been a fabulously funny comedian and an amazing actor in shows like ABOFAL , Wooster, Blackadder and House. His first written novel The Gunseller is also brilliant, an hilaroius read and I’m not surprised to find now his first serious venture into music is also pretty impressive, he is such a multi-talented guy!

    Singing the blues was always going to raise eyebrows , especially in the UK knowing of his clear cut English voice, but I really don’t have a problem with Hugh choosing to adopt an American accent. I don’t think he has to rely on affectations at all, he decided on the American accent because as he says;
    “There is a musicality to words. They are instruments, in a way. They are notes, and there is a particular way of sounding a note where sometimes, like it or not, in this particular idiom, to sing a sort of defiantly English version is as jagged and musically wrong as playing a wrong note.”

    I like the album and look forward to more great offerings from a man who seems to know how to turn everything he does into success!

  23. You have to get this cd, Hugh is a man of many talents. I knew he could sing and play musical instruments, and I am glad he has realized that the majority of us who know our music will appreciate his music with him.
    Hugh is my favorite actor/comedian/singer/musician and composer. I just love the man and I love everything he does, he will go along way

  24. You have to get this cd, Hugh is a man of many talents. I knew he could sing and play musical instruments, and I am glad he has realized that the majority of us who know our music will appreciate his music with him.
    Hugh is my favorite actor/comedian/singer/musician and composer. I just love the man and I love everything he does, he will go along way

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