Teddy Thompson’s Unmatched Versatility On New Release Bella

Photo Credit: Beth Herzhaft

If I had to list what I considered the best attributes for a singer-songwriter to have, I would probably spend a month internally debating whether lyrical or vocal strength trumps the rest. Thanks to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Teddy Thompson[/lastfm], my February won’t be bogged down with such demanding brainwork. When you find an artist with both traits in spades, the answer becomes obvious: any singer-songwriter worth a dime has honest lyrics and a voice you’ll remember. So by my calculation…[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Teddy Thompson[/lastfm]‘s current market price must be a lot of dimes.

His fifth and latest album, Bella, gives you the best of both qualities right at the outset with the current single ‘Looking For A Girl,’ and never fails to disappoint during the record’s eleven-track length. ‘Looking For A Girl’ combines a driving 12 bar blues structure with a catchy pop hook and lyrics so autobiographical they read like a Craigslist ad for Thompson: “I been looking for a girl easy on the eye/but not so f’cking stupid that I want to cry.”  (Dry humor is another attribute on my list.) His words delve into self-deprecation as well, as on the beautifully composed folk-ballad ‘Over And Over': “Some time ago I came up with a plan/sh*t on myself so that no one else can.” A song like ‘Home,’ however, features feelings that are both personal and universal, and proves that a voice as stirring as Thompson‘s can speak for more than just himself.


For many singers, the voice is their greatest weapon, and most effective when wielded with brave versatility.  Considering his folk upbringing (his parents are British folk-rock legends [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Richard Thompson[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Linda Thompson[/lastfm]), having never listened “to any music made after 1959 until [he] was about 16,” and a love for Americana roots and country music, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Teddy Thompson[/lastfm] has quite the palate at his disposal. He never shys from brandishing these influences as he belts and whispers a remarkable range across Bella‘s 40-minute length: ‘Tell Me What You Want,’ and ”Take Me Back Again,’ sound like [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Phil Spector[/lastfm] productions; ‘Home’ and ‘Over and Over’ are folk numbers with gorgeous string arrangements akin to an updated [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Nick Drake[/lastfm]; and, finally, are those songs featuring Teddy‘s greatest strength, a foot-stomping country-pop twang and bombast that leaps out of the record and begs for a live performance, such as ‘The One I Can’t Have’ and ‘The Next One.’


The best part about Bella is not just the individual tracks; the album as a whole flows with a dynamicism that is too often absent from a pop record.  With Bella‘s peaks and troughs, the listener follows a range of sentiments that are Teddy Thompson at his most honest, most personal, and most engaging to date.

1. Looking For A Girl
2. Delilah
3. I Feel
4. Over and Over
5. Take Me Back Again
6. Tell Me What You Want
7. Home
8. The Next One
9. Take Care Of Yourself
10. The One I Can’t Have
11. Gotta Have Someone

Bella is available now at iTunes and Amazon.

This entry was posted in Music News, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Teddy Thompson’s Unmatched Versatility On New Release Bella

  1. Dan says:

    Finally something new to be excited about besides james blake

Comments are closed.