And More...

The consensus around the traps seems to rate Electric as Thompson’s best studio work since 1999‘s Mock Tudor, which may well be true, but I’m inclined towards the view that this particular what’ll I try this time has worked better than the previous couple. 

It’s not as if, after forty-five years’ worth of writing that has produced a remarkably consistent body of very high quality work, you’re going to come across anything new or radically different on a new Richard Thompson album, and you’re not likely to mistake him for anyone else or anyone else for him either.

You can place a substantial tick beside Buddy Miller’s name in the production department, since Electric is a mighty fine sounding recording, but based on the assumption that we’ll be looking at something different for the next studio project you might not expect him to be occupying that chair next time. 

Assuming you’ve been aboard for a while there’s nothing here you haven’t sort of heard before. The guitar solos spark and arc, with emotional intensity to go with the pyrotechnics, the lyrics are immaculately crafted expressions of recurring themes and cautionary tales, the melodies remain simple, concise and affecting, the arrangements and the backing from an impeccable rhythm section well, um, impeccable and the recording sounds clean, crisp and live. 

You might be inclined to disregard something that would attract an overall comment like here’s another excellent Richard Thompson album, but consider underlining that another, switching the excellent into italics and ponder the following, which puts it better than I could hope to.

Richard Thompson, in the words of one rather perceptive revieweris what you hope all of your favourite young artists will age into, but rarely do.


NPR review: Richard Thompson's New Album Examines 'Electric' Love

Thompson is the anti-Clapton

© Ian Hughes 2012