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Linda Thompson - Versatile Heart 2007 torrent
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Linda Thompson is a meticulous craftswoman, seemingly incapable of putting out music that's any less than spectacular. She follows up her spectacular comeback album, 2002's Fashionably Late, with this stunning collection of ballads, proving to all that her creative fire remains undiminished. There are a few tunes by other writers. Rufus Wainwright contributes "Beauty," a poignant tune that Thompson delivers with her understated majesty, while her reading of the Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan protest song "Day After Tomorrow" is positively heartrending. The song is written as a letter home from a young man in Iraq, praying that he'll live to see his 21st birthday; Thompson's vocal here is haunting, brimming over with raw longing and an almost fatal resignation. As good as those songs are, they're merely appetizers for the main course, eight new Thompson tunes, some written in collaboration with her son Teddy, and a new song by her daughter Kamila, "Nice Cars." On "Do Your Best for Rock 'n Roll," Linda and Teddy channel the ghost of Hank Williams, Sr. The tune suggests "Your Cheatin' Heart," but moves in its own unique direction, with Thompson's weary country vocal laying out her broken but still beating heart for all to see. It's a wrenching performance, with James Walbourne's guitar mixed to produce a blue-tinged, larger-than-life-size twang. "Give Me a Sad Song," another country weeper, co-written with Betsy Cook, uses the usual images of booze, country music, and remorse, with a quavering vocal by Thompson that wouldn't sound out of place on anything coming out of Nashville. "Blue & Gold" is written as an English folk song, using the language of fairy tales to explore the ups and downs of love. "Whiskey, Bob Copper and Me" is another new traditional-sounding British folk song, a tribute to Bob Copper, the A.P. Carter of British traditional music. It's another song of bereavement with Eliza Carthy supplying the poignant harmony vocals. Thompson's heart may be versatile, but her forte is her ability to imbue songs of remorse, loss, and frustrated desire with a soulful beauty and an implied state of grace. Every album is deeper, more sensitive, and more inspiring than the last — and this one is no exception.
Acoustic balladry exquisitely arranged highlights the first album from Linda Thompson in five years (and only her second in 22). With even much of the original material steeped in English traditionalism, the album recalls the best of her early work with former husband Richard, though the romantic recriminations of the title track and "Go Home" showcase a songwriter who has very much found her own voice. Her key collaborator is son Teddy, who cowrote four songs with Linda as well as the instrumental that opens and closes the album. Daughter Kamila Thompson contributes "Nice Cars," perhaps the most contemporary-sounding track, as well as harmonies on a stripped-down rendition of "Day After Tomorrow" by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Perhaps the most striking track is "Beauty," written for Thompson by Rufus Wainwright, with chamber strings, a bluesy undercurrent, and tremulous harmony vocals by Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons). Thompson doesn't release many albums, but she has never crafted a more cohesive and consistently inspired one than this.
Superlatives fail to justly describe the voice of Linda Thompson. Steely yet vulnerable, comforting yet haunting, Thompson's singing is never less than riveting, and has played a crucial role in some of the most powerful, influential music of the past thirty years. On Versatile Heart, only her third solo album, Thompson demonstrates that, in addition to being an incomparable interpreter, she is an equally astonishing songwriter - stitching traditional British Isles music and more contemporary influences into a sound that is expressive and direct, yet timeless. From the brass-flecked acoustic pop of the title track to the cool rockabilly of "Do Your Best for Rock 'n Roll," her writing forms the core of Versatile Heart. Other writers represented on Versatile Heart include Thompson's son Teddy, daughter Kamila, Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, and Rufus Wainwright, who contributes the devastating "Beauty," performed as a duet with Antony.
Featuring Teddy Thompson, Antony, Martin Carthy, Martha Wainwright, Kamila Thompson, Eliza Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, and more.
"One of rock & roll's finest voices..."
"One of the loveliest, most dramatic voices in the English language..."
Artist: Linda Thompson
Album: Versatile Heart
Date Of Release: August 14, 2007
Genre: Folk Rock, Singer-Songwriter
Bitrate: VBR --alt-preset extreme