Tuesday, February 5, 2013
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: RICHARD THOMPSON - ELECTRIC
That's grand, a new sound for him, then. There are a few add-ons, such as Stuart Duncan's fiddle, some acoustic bass from Dennis Crouch, and a little mandolin. There are also the best harmony vocals on a Thompson disc since he split with Linda, from Siobhan Maher Kennedy, and on one track, Alison Krauss. Gone are the saxes and slight jazz side that's been in play the last little bit. These are get-to-business rockers. Straight And Narrow even has a Tex-Mex organ on it, courtesy Thompson himself, as well as one of his best, off-kilter guitar solos.
Oh, it's great to hear those solos, too. Thompson's aren't like anyone else, as he retains his own heritage, British folk, crossed with Duane Eddy for his own kid of twangy guitar. And so many here! We're blessed. Plus, the ballads that are included are some of his finest, now or ever. Another Small Thing In Her Favour is a touching send-off to a partner leaving, as he counts her blessings instead of succumbing to anger. The Snow Goose is fantastically beautiful, with a tremendous, soul-shaking vocal. The whole album is a balance between angry rockers and touching acoustic folk, and surely ranks up there with his very best in a very long and strong career.