Music Review: Richard Thompson

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”:

4 comments on “Music Review: Richard Thompson

  1. Anne S says:

    I have to agree Thompson is a superb songwriter, but for some reason I just can’t get into his own recordings – I prefer other people’s versions of his songs.

    Also I would recommend checking out his son, Teddy Thompson’s records. I was particularly taken with “Separate Ways” – darkly cynical, bitter sweet, pop. He’s great live too.

  2. GDT says:

    The best Thompson releases now appear to be his live releases. Not that his studio work is necessarily bad; he appears to be able to write songs in his sleep and the music is always well-played. But it seems like some goods songs and a lot of forgettable stuff (and maybe an absolute classic) on each album. Plus, as his singing has gotten better, he seems to be beginning to over-emote. Or maybe listening to Brittney for the 100 Years of Music infected his brain. But I miss the beginning-to-end brilliance of Bright Lights, Shoot Out, and Pour Down.

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