Richard Thompson: “Dream Attic”

Richard Thompson albums come in two basic varieties. On the one hand, you’ve got your albums that show, in one way or another, a kind of conceptual backbone — be it a narrative one (like his album-length exploration of suburban malaise, Mock Tudor) or stylistic (like his homage to traditional British folk, Front Parlour Ballads). On the other, you’ve got those albums that are simply collections of Richard Thompson songs — some of them great (The Old Kit Bag), some merely good (Sweet Warrior). Falling somewhere in between: his Mitchell Froom-produced albums of the ’90s, which weren’t necessarily united in style or subject matter but were certainly focused and uniform in their sound.

Also falling somewhere in between — and in some ways capturing the best of both worlds — is Dream Attic, Thompson’s first new recording in three years. There is no narrative running through these songs, and they seem written to emphasize Thompson’s eclecticism over all else; there are folk numbers intermingled with rock songs, love songs interspersed with political satires. So in that sense, the album is nothing more or less than a collection of Richard Thompson songs — something that’s always welcome.

Read the rest at Stereo Subversion.

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