Sometimes you get what you expect, and it still makes you “Feel So Good”. In the case of Richard Thompson, he’s well past the point where he’s going to surprise anyone. As one of the world’s greatest singer-songwriters, he’s followed an eclectic path toward non-stardom for over 35 years. Sweet Warrior isn’t going to change any of that, although it strikes me as more lively and less sludgy than Mock Tudor, his last effort.
I say this less as a slam than as recognition that you have to accept Thompson for what he is, and just appreciate the high level of musicianship he brings to each album. The opener here, “Needle and Thread”, contains echoes of a ton of other songs of his, as does “Mr. Stupid” (one of the less appealing songs), and “She Sang Angels to Rest”. For me, it all works, and I still love his music.
At this stage of his career, Sweet Warrior’s still good, solid Thompson, and well worth seeking out.
Still–you could do worse that break out my favorite CD of his, Rumor and Sigh, and my favorite song of Thompson’s, “I Feel So Good”: