Pop music has recently seen a steady stream of new artists who descended from musical parents. Julian Lennon, Rufus Wainwright, and A.J. Croce come to mind. Teddy Thompson is yet another issue to emerge from musically adept parental units. Richard and Linda Thompson were founding members of Fairport Convention. As a duo they produced several classic albums. Probably the most renown was Shoot out the Lights which came out just before their rather messy divorce. Richard Thompson has continued with a successful solo career as both a performer, songwriter, and "thinking man's" guitar God. Unlike his father, Teddy is more of a songwriter than a picker. His voice is both strong and melodious, much like his mother's, who had one of the finest set of pipes ever to grace a stage.
Many of the songs on Teddy Thompson have a mournful lilt to them. While the instrumentation is contemporary with the prerequisite number of jagged edges and gritty musical textures, the melodies are lyrical and rather sweet. The opening cut "Wake Up" is especially bouncy in a subdued plaintive manner, and could be a AAA radio format hit. Luckily for those of us who listen to entire CDs, the rest of the album is of similarly high quality. "Missing Children", co-written with Rufus Wainwright, is both quirky in its lyrics and bittersweet in its demeanor.
Producer Joe Henry, no small talent in his own right, assembled a fine back-up group of Curt Bisquerra and Calra Azar on percussion, Jennifer Condos on bass, Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards, and Gregg Arreguin, Jon Brion, Chris Bruce, Randy Jacobs, Greg Leisz, and Richard Thompson on guitars. If you like music that is not afraid to be lyrical you should give Teddy Thompson a listen.
Sound Quality: 90