Richard Thompson - Dream Attic
This is gloriously vicious, bitter, sad and bleak, even by Richard Thompson's
standards. Recording live with a four-piece band, he continues his
assault on human folly and unpleasantness with 11 new songs that deal
with bankers, murderers, suicide bombers and vain pop stars – with
laments for lost friends, lost love or lost chances added in. He shows
off his black humour on The Money Shuffle, which starts with the lines:
"I love kittens and little babies ... your money is so safe with me,"
and uses much the same technique on the jaunty Here Comes Geordie, the
story of a Tynesider who sings with a Jamaican accent and flies around
in a private plane to save the planet. I trust that Sting is squirming.
Elsewhere, on Big Sun Falling in the River, he matches a sturdy,
singalong melody against lyrics dealing with the end of a relationship,
while on the personal and pained A Brother Slips Away, he mourns the
death of friends such as Davy Graham. The two best tracks are the
bleakest of all. Crimescene is a horrific mood piece about death and
fate, while Sidney Wells is a brutal modern murder ballad set to a
jaunty English dance tune. It ends with a furious electric guitar
workout that echoes his playing on Matty Groves, on the Fairport
Convention classic Liege & Lief in 1969. Impressive.