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Album review: Richard Thompson’s Electric

The folk-rock guitar hero’s new album is anything but predictable

  • By Kitty Empire, Guardian News & Media Ltd
  • Published: 20:00 February 11, 2013
  • Tabloid

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The title of Richard Thompson’s 22nd post-Fairport Convention album succinctly relays the folk-rock guitar hero’s current mode: plugged in. Specifically, Thompson plugged in at the Nashville home studio of Robert Plant producer Buddy Miller, who adds rhythm guitar. That’s not to say there aren’t traditional-leaning slow-burners here, such as Another Small Thing in Her Favour, a typical solar plexus blow. Thompson narrates this break-up in a voice tinged as much with near-eastern devotional music as it is traditional song. Elsewhere, the tempos are markedly groovier. Straight and Narrow is a juicy organ romp, while Stuck on the Treadmill, an acerbic galumph through hard times lit up by Thompson’s genre-shredding guitar, essays a new genre: folk-funk.

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