Both as a solo composer and as frontman of the gloriously experimental The Academy of Sun, Nick Hudson has been responsible for some gorgeous and creative, not to mention gorgeously creative, music. Some of it has pushed the boundaries of what alternative rock can be, at other times it has taken more graceful and ornate steps towards its destination.
Come Back When There’s Nothing Left, his latest release as a solo artist, certainly errs towards the latter but even though it is built on understated and spatially deft lines, as always, Nick proves that it is not what you do it’s the way that you do it. Or more properly, not which few sonic strands you chose to build with but how cleverly and precisely you weave them together.
Voyeurs Who Offer Nothing and Not My Slave, are both gentle and heart-tugging piano ballads, full of melancholy and melodrama, reflection and honest soul-searching. To this, he adds only his voice, rich and resonant as it is but occasionally effected and heightened to fill the space and occasionally some strings but leaving enough space between, behind and beyond the music to make sure that it has room to percolate and infuse, grow and evolve.
The title track takes such ideas slightly further. Based on the same sort of openness and opaque beauty, it is shot through with beguiling electronica, sometimes complimenting the melody, sometimes tearing across in stark contrasts.
Come Back When There’s Nothing Left reminds us that although Nick Hudson makes some amazing music when armed with the full arsenal of sonic weapons, he is just as creative, just as emotive, when armed with the bare minimum of musical building blocks. And that is the mark of a true creative.