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.

[vevo]http://www.vevo.com/watch/teddy-thompson/the-next-one-live-at-rockwood/USUV71003017[/vevo]

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.’

 [vevo]http://www.vevo.com/watch/teddy-thompson/looking-for-a-girl-live-at-rockwood/USUV71003018[/vevo]

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.



Tracklist:
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.

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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

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