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REVIEW: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS - Richard Thompson ELECTRIC
2/5/2013 (updated 2/15/2013)

Richard Thompson, 'Electric'

Guitar ace adds a healthy dose of bottom to his sound, creating something you could almost call Celtic funk

As the disc's name implies, "Electric" finds Thompson fully plugged and solo-centric.

"Electric" doesn't only feature more leads than usual, it stresses the most aggressive kind. Thompson always has at his command a hard-fingered approach. He can lean on the notes with special heaviness, making every note emphatic. Here he doubles down on that score.

The cruelty and snark of the playing makes sense given the characters in many songs. There's the embarrassingly lusty old coot in "Stony Ground," the Sarah Palin-style manipulative politician in "Sally B" and the cad who's outrunning his bad karma in "Good Things Happen to Bad People." In that last one the solo acts like a bayonet, skewering an enemy.

Of course, Thompson has his softer side. Three songs go acoustic, some melodies have a jangle-pop sweetness and a piece like "Another Small Thing in Her Favor" paints a crushing scene. A man struggles to find the good in a woman who broke his heart. We're used to such fine insights from Thompson. What's far more rare is to hear him match them to the particular interplay of players found here. When his Celtic-tinged solos burn, the bass rumbles and the drums go low, this very English artist gains a fine hint of American funk.

Jim Farber, New York Daily News

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