The fifth full-length album from folk-pop singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson is another solid offering that cements a musical blend already near perfected on 2008's A Piece Of What You Need.
Opening track 'Looking For A Girl' is a bright and chirpy upbeat pop song with a flavour of Counting Crows. Like many of Teddy Thompson's songs, the track has a simple harmonic structure; this track based around the straightforward 12-bar blues but all the same has a strong beat and catchy melodies. The son of brit-folkers Richard and Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson's music is Radio 2-friendly country tinged folk-pop that suggests a range of influences from said genres; with its' natural, effortless sounding vocals, much like other tracks, 'Delilah' sounds Thompson as something of a more folk Bubl'.
Later on the album, 'Over And Over' opens with rough folk fiddle which is then joined by picked acoustic guitar. The track lilts along contrasting those that preceded it with a sombre sounding tonality that, along with gestures of solo fiddle throughout, gives it a slightly foreign sounding feel. Again, 'Take Me Back Again' starts with a similarly thin accompaniment, down tempo with sorrowful, pleading lyrics and smooth strings before the drums kick into a busier part for verse two and the track drives forward. Already Teddy Thompson has evidenced great vocal flexibility interspersing his lovely strong rich tone with glimpses of smooth falsetto.
Continue reading: Teddy Thompson, Bella Album Review
Here's a prime example of what happens when fascinating subject matter falls prey to inept filmmaking. Lian Lunson's Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man is a frustrating mess, redeemed intermittently by a few solid musical performances and by the towering, erudite presence of Cohen himself.
Much of Lunson's tribute to the legendary songsmith is taken up by a 2005 concert featuring a lineup of international folk and pop artists honoring Cohen's music. I don't claim a close familiarity with Cohen's music, but it doesn't take an aficionado of it to figure out that several of the performances are overwrought, shrill, or just plain boring. Rufus Wainwright's nasally crooning and vamping reduce the wry humor of "Everybody Knows" and "Chelsea Hotel #2" into fey cabaret numbers. Elsewhere, Nick Cave's version of "I'm Your Man" by way of a Vegas lounge act deadens the senses, and Jarvis Cocker's stiffly delivered "Death Of a Ladies' Man" is god-awful. Aside from the default pleasure taken in knowing that you're hearing one of Cohen's songs, this is disposable material. All of it, that is, with the exception of Teddy Thompson's version of "Tonight Will Be Fine," Antony Hegarty's "If It Be Your Will," and Martha Wainwright's "The Traitor": Three performances that achieve the grace and soulful resonance of Cohen's music, so devoid in the rest of Lunson's documentary.
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.