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Teddy Thompson
Teddy Thompson
Virgin Records


I can count on one hand the number of discs that have come across my desk over the last ten years that I considered absolutely flawless. I’m speaking of the type of album that both amazes and astounds you all at once. One that doesn’t leave your CD player for months at a time and still sounds relevant ten or fifteen years later. Teddy Thompson’s debut has made that short list.

I suppose a bit of lineage is in order to let you know who Teddy Thompson is and where he comes from. Teddy is the progeny of Richard and Linda Thompson. Richard Thompson, folk-rock pioneer and founding member of British folk-rock band, Fairport Convention, is best known for his blistering guitar work and his penchant for writing brilliantly crafted dark folk songs. Subsequent to leaving Fairport Convention in 1971, Richard Thompson enjoyed quite a storied career as a solo artist. Linda Thompson’s sweetly sedate vocal meandering served as the yin to Richard’s yang. Linda was widely touted as one of the finest female vocalist in pop music. Together they went on to record six critically acclaimed records; ending with the release of Shoot Out The Lights, arguably their best release. The couple split shortly thereafter resulting in Richard moving to Los Angeles and Teddy and Linda staying behind in London.

Rather than riding his parents’ coattails, Thompson honed his songwriting skills in London and later relocated to Los Angeles. With this record, it’s obvious Thompson has found his own two feet and is busy carving out a legacy all his own. At twenty-three years old, Thompson has created a masterpiece well beyond his years.

However, the endearing part of this record is not the music. Don’t get me wrong, the music is well thought out and orchestrated—with luminaries such as Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson and fellow wunderkind Rufus Wainwright lending their talent, how could it not be?! The true strength of this album is Thompson’s lyrics and the conviction that he sings with. His rich tenor is somewhat reminiscent of James Taylor, while his vocal melodies call to mind Neil Finn, of Crowded House, especially on songs like "So Easy" and "All I See."

This is the most honest and revealing record I’ve heard in a long time. It evokes an intoxicating array of emotions and conjures up memories of a time in life when every relationship felt like life or death. When emotions were so close to the surface that every sad song seemed to be written just for you. Back when everyday brought a new epiphany and everything was new. Thompson is very adept at documenting his early twenties—grown up, but not quite a grown up. Old enough to drink but not old enough to know not to drink too much—or think too much for that matter.

In "Wake Up" Thompson makes a plea for an estranged lover to move on. When Thompson sings the lines: "Wake up, everyone is leaving. Daylight has a way of creeping up, when you’re in love. Sickness, everybody has it. Mine just happens to be hidden and you, what about you?! I won’t even begin telling you how sorry I am. Those days, moving so slow, I kept it alive no to be so alone. So, don’t stop, better keep it moving. Although memories can be soothing, I can never go back." I earnestly remember just how it felt when it became painfully obvious that a relationship had ran it’s course, and how hard it was to move on.

This is a stunning debut from a bright new voice! This disc will definitely find it’s way to my top 10 list for this year.

-Dave Rothroc

Track Listing:

  1. Wake Up
  2. Love Her For That
  3. Brink Of Love
  4. So Easy
  5. All I See
  6. All We Said
  7. A Step Behind
  8. Missing Children
  9. Thanks A Lot
  10. Days In The Park 


Mike Doughty



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