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REVIEW: TONEAudio
2/7/2013 (updated 2/15/2013)

Richard Thompson, Electric

Always more comfortable as a cult favorite than a major-label artist under pressure to log a hit, Thompson hasn't erred in the past decade.

While he maintains the ability to blow away most any other living guitarist via his tone, fluidness, control, expressiveness, and feel, Thompson doesn't waste a note or give a thought to showiness. Akin to an engrossing author that recognizes it's harder albeit more rewarding to pen meaningful short passages than rambling long-form statements, he makes every word and phrase matter.

Understatement remains one of Thompson's greatest assets. Built on folk-rock foundations, Electric spans acoustic to amplified arrangements, vitriolic to sympathetic moods, and observational to reflective perspectives - all the while never calling attention to any single characteristic. Miller knows well enough to take a hands-off approach, preserving a live feel that reinforces Thompson's natural instrumentalism and lyrical contrasts. As is his trademark, the singer relays life’s romantic follies, paradoxical conflicts, and sage revelations with periscopic distance, minute detail, and uncanny accuracy.

Bob Gendron, TONEAudio

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