Richard Thompson: Still (Proper/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Richard Thompson: Broken Doll
Richard Thompson: Still (Proper/Southbound)

Those thrilled by this much acclaimed singer-guitarist's set at Womad in March, or who have immersed themselves in his often incendiary recent albums Dream Attic and Electric, will need no second invitation for this one.

Produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy (deploying members of Thompson's band and Wilco) and frequently impelled by the same energy Thompson brought to Taranaki, this 12-song collection confirms the 66-year old is riding a late-career high.

Furious but focused guitar solos are here, as are his jaundiced lyrics (Dungeons for Eyes, Patty Don't You Put Me Down), but they are balanced by the Anglo-folk styles he has always favoured (Beatnik Walking) and Tweedy throws the spotlight on Thompson's economic songs (the mournful and eerie Broken Doll).

Only the eight minute Guitar Heroes at the end – in which he salutes his influences and plays in the style of plank-spankers he grew up trying to imitate – strains for effect, although was a crowd-pleaser at Womad for its sheer virtuosity.

But the real meat is elsewhere (the increasingly taut folk-rock opener She Never Could Resist a Winding Road neatly sets this up) and his genre-defying guitar playing can both restrained but breathtaking at the same time.

A number of other Richard Thompson albums have been reviewed at Elsewhere, and there are also two major intereviews. Start here.

Share It

Your Comments

Phil Fryer - Jul 6, 2015

Certainly a GREAt start at womad, as he was at the western springs womad,I guess I have enjoyed him enuff
to be my personal guitar hero, & even enjoyed conversing at a mates, fro within the industry
yet to find a bad album from this talented mind, just some are more engaging than others,but do have all his work !

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Urge Overkill: Rock&Roll Submarine (Redeye)

Urge Overkill: Rock&Roll Submarine (Redeye)

Possibly the most coolly knowing, confidently aloof band since Steely Dan, Urge Overkill out of Chicago were touring mates with Nirvana and Pearl Jam but their stylish and increasingly power pop... > Read more

Baio: The Names (Glass Note)

Baio: The Names (Glass Note)

Not to be confused with small-screen star Scott, Chris Baio -- bassist with Vampire Weekend -- here gets playful and poppy (the bright Sister of Pearl) with this debut solo album. It mines a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists: Moonstompers, Shufflers and Skankers

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists: Moonstompers, Shufflers and Skankers

With the Newmatics having reformed to support the Specials and another version of the Beat coming, it's as if it is 1982 alll over again and ska is our soundtrack. Of course a couple of... > Read more

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Hard to know where you might start with Sonny Bono, the Republican politician who was killed in a skiing accident in 1998. He was of course much more than that and in his late 20s he worked... > Read more