RT

What's it called?: 
Electric
What does it sound like?: 
Umm, don't quite know what to say. Yes, it's good, in fact it's very good. Indeed, and this is the rub, it is probably the best version yet of these songs that he has done. Most fit a standard Thompson template and will recall others. Overall it has the feel of Hand of Kindness era, clearly no bad thing, with possibly a better production, totally justifying Buddy Millers sympathetic ambience. Given the promo shove, what with breakfast time TV appearances, it could make an ideal entry for those new to him, should that actually ever happen, and maybe that's the point. I suspect (and hope) it will be a grower. The possible stand out is "Another Small Thing in Her Favour", another ballad to slot in alongside Beeswing and Vincent Black Lightning. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out live. (O, and it isn't all that Electric, should any old lags be fretting. And didn't hear much Folk-Funk as he's calling it.) Hell, guys, it's a bloody good record, just a but I can't quite catch.
What does it all *mean*?: 
Sales? Accolades? Re-reading I feel a little guilty, damning this undoubtedly well crafted LP with such guardedness. Given he hasn't ever quite managed to issue an entire record without at least 1 clunker, could this be that one?
Goes well with …: 
Probably with all the sort of stuff a good and devout moslem might espouse: I shall have a few beers before Symphony Hall next week, to arouse sufficient sense of maudlin joy to appreciate the overall texture.
Might suit people who like …: 
Richard Thompson, clearly, but maybe more for those yet to dip into his catalogue. Jeez, all his die-hards will buy it anyway and regardless. He remains pretty unique, being his only influence and only copyist.

Comments

The songwriting's splendid; the band's rocking; the singing's very good; the guitar playing's wonderful!
Best I've heard from him in a long while, prob since "Mock Tudor". Really enjoying the record!

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've long wanted to see him gig in a trio format so the Usher Hall show will be a treat (and I'm in the front row!)
The bassist and drummer he has now are probably the most thrilling backing he's had for ages, too, which is not to demean Danny T, Dave Mattacks et al, just to say that this line-up just seems to have energised RT.

New RT albums often don't grab for a while (sometimes years) but this is catchy enough to snag immediately. At the moment the rockier numbers are doing it for me - Stony Ground, Straight and Narrow - but much of the more acoustic material is wonderful too, in particular Another Small Thing and The Snow Goose. Clunkers? Well possibly My Enemy.
It may well be his best since Mock Tudor and it's a far better record than we normally expect from someone at RT's stage in the game, and one which does not require us to make any allowances for that, and bodes very well for the gigs.

which was being touted as a return to form, I seem to remember. It just seems more complete somehow. Would also agree that Another Small Thing in her Favour may well be a classic.

That would be odd, given that Sweet Warrior was an excellent album. At 70 minutes it was too long, but I can't see a room full of people agreeing which songs to leave out to make a more managable 40 to 50 minutes.
Where RT scores big for me is his restlessness. Rather than recording another set of the same stuff in ther same style he has tailorde his songs to a new stripped down sound, and his last two projects were an album where all the songs were new but recorded at gis and a song cycle for the Society of Bassists.

The Treadmill song is my current fave. There's a bit of funk in there I reckon. All sounds good to me

and the first 2 songs on the bonus disc are belters too. Am a big fan of Sweet Warrior and it is too early to say whether this one eclipses that or not. I can say however that the band he has playing with him are exceptional. Looking forward to the gig next week.

when I get home from the library (purchased my copy an hour or so ago). Really looking forward to seeing him in Cambridge on Sunday week, having bought lastish-minute tickets for a friend and myself on Tuesday, once I'd established that I won't be in hospital for my partial skull replacement just yet. (Fulfilling a few ambitions before the op just in case...)

that sort of sums up RTs audience doesn't it?

No offence Nigel , go to library myself- just saying.

it used to be a running joke how many librarians there were who contributed, or 'liberians' as they were hilariously referred to.

Perhaps you had to be there.

I was, and am again, in the library.

Free internet and keeping warm at no expense to myself. What's not to like?

Rather carelessly, I got the tax-dodgers to deliver it to my work, as I had visions of having to travel to far-off Portobello to pick my vinyl-sized package from the post office. As it turned out, I've been on holiday anyway...

Another Usher Hall front rower here:-)

I'm A39. See you there!
Did you get my reply to your email, by the by...?

I suspect we are sitting next to each other - I'll check. Robbie is around there too, ISTR.

Childishly excited at this point:-)

hopes for this gig!
Cheers.

He certainly is - along with a small entourage of friends and family including Gary (one time Mingle attendee) and brother Jeff (future Mingle attendee). All in front row too :-).
As I recall Ralph and Dali also scored tickets sonewhere near the front.
Canny wait.

Is this whit we cry a phalanx?

Prime stage-rushing position:-)

all have bought tickets at about the same time!
Checked U Hall site and gig seems to be pretty much sold out now.

St Albans Arena. Looking forward to this.
Last time was The Old Kit Bag in Shepherd's Bush.

It was perfectly fine but he was promoting a fairly 'quiet' album and I wasn't completely blown away by the gig. I'm hoping for something a bit more revved up at Shepherds Bush this time, more like the Roundhouse concert on the Sweet Warrior tour.

Hadn't spotted that. I can't go that night. Think I'll head for Cambridge on the 24th

on Tuesday, Twang. Good luck!

Just rounding up some mates to go with. You going?

Checked with one of my oldest friends (first met in Sept '69, first term at the grammar) that he was free, then bought for both of us.

One of my pre-op treats, just in case I don't survive. Haven't seen Mr T with band since winter 81/82, back in the Linda days...

most likely solo

:-(

Been playing it all day whilst doing a wiring job. I agree with the OP - gat sound and songs, and the extras are really worth having. I sort of feel there are a few RT song templates emerging - similar mood and groove to others - but we forget what a great,yricist he is and the words are always tip top. Buddy Miller has clearly fired him up. Mind you, I've liked all his recent ones. I thought Front Parlour Ballads was great, with the longer more developed melodies.

Most of us love RT for his splendid guitar playing but I agree with you Twang he is a very good lyricist too. The Cabaret of Souls project has had a very low key release and almost no reviews. I am surprised because the ideas and the words are excellent. Anyone loving RT should check it out as it shows what a diverse talent he is.

Brighton on Friday for me. Haven't heard the new album yet, so anticipation is all.

Got my vinyl copy today ( a thing of beauty) and am impressed. Plenty of guitar and plenty of - for want of a better word - space. It reminds me a bit of John Hiatt's Bring the Famly in that sense - it hasn't been filled up with overdubs etc. It could almost be a live recording.

Marvellous.

Very impressed with the songs but the sound is poor; drums especially are very compressed to the extent of inversion in the cymbals and it detracts from an otherwise fine album. Pity RT's work is once more marred by heavy-handed post-production (cf. Mitchell Froom)...

The more I listen the more I like it, even if it is even more so a parallel universe greatest hits, so familiar are the styles and mannerisms, but it doesn't have filler, making it a standout from much of his past 20 years, where quality control has veered between fabulous and dodgy, often on adjoning songs. I think the production fits like a glove, the most mucular drumming since Mattacks and best bass since, well, you probably know. And it is wonderful to see him at last seeming to get acclaim other than just journos and wordos. The loss of the sideboards and the marooning thus of a goatee suits too. Just let me see him live next time. Darling!

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