Richard Thompson - Dream Attic
Things haven't changed in the two minutes since I posted that Autolux review; I'm still pissed off about the state of modern rock music. Now a 61 year-old has come along to show all those mediocre practitioners of what passes for rock these days how it's done. They should be fucking embarrassed.
Granted, Richard Thompson is a fucking awesome 61 year-old. As the guitarist for Fairport Convention and a prolific solo artist since, he's made his Stratocaster squeal more times than you've had hot dinners. He's particularly known for transcendent live performances, and while Dream Attic isn't his first live album, it is his first comprised of all new material. I'm making it eligible for my yearly Top 10; right now it's number one and will be tough to budge.
Thompson's albums don't always start auspiciously, and so it is with Dream Attic. "The Money Shuffle" is a decent mid tempo rocker, but little more. Later on, however, the album becomes the best showcase in over a decade of Thompson's serpentine guitar solos. His most popular templates are there: the uptempo rocker ("Demons in Her Dancing Shoes"), the folk throwback ("Sidney Wells"), the mournful, glacially slow dirge ("Crimescene, "If Love Whispers Your Name") and the ridiculously catchy pop song ("Big Sun Falling in the River", which sounds a bit like "Wall of Death"). That is to say that that Thompson doesn't really break any new ground here, but his songwriting and performance are in such fine touch that it doesn't matter.
The deluxe edition comes with guitar and vocal demos of all of the songs - mostly acoustic guitar, vocals and nothing else. It's like having an alternative universe version of the album.
Richard Thompson - Electric