Sean Bw Parker finds time to appreciate, in a with-strained manner, the newly recorded acoustic compilation of ‘choice’ Richard Thompson classics.
Richard Thompson ‘Acoustic Classics’ Released 14th January 2014
God it had never occurred to me how much Richard Thompson sounds like Nick Cave. They may have been surgically separated at the throat at birth, were it not for the fact that the Lord of Darkness would rather die (live?) than be compared to a be-bereted, right-on crustie folkie hippy like Thompson, a generation older as he is.
This reality is clearest on the sublime ‘I Misunderstood’, here shorn of its early 90s soft rock cheese-pomp, and delivered as a stripped down, frustrated, angry lament – though why Londoner Thompson delivers ‘good luck’ as ‘good look’ is surely an accent-as-authenticity mystery.
‘From Galway to Graceland’ is a touching tale of a mentally unwell lady who travels to Memphis, Tennessee to be with her love, Elvis the Pelvis himself – only to find the object of her desires deceased or disinterested – it’s not too clear which.
In an impossible to qualify album – all the songs are perfectly written and played, produced and selected – it is better simply to describe. Apart from the aformentioned tracks, ‘I Want To See The Brights Lights Tonight’, ‘Walking On A Wire’ and ‘Dimming Of The Day’ are all sublime examples of post-Dylan songcraft. Listen and learn.
Sean Bw Parker