Albums of the year: #21

RICHARD THOMPSON: Sweet Warrior

Richard Thompson has never made a bad album. But many of them are dominated by a couple of classic songs to the detriment of the rest. His best songs seem to exist outside the albums they were drawn from. Sweet Warrior is as close as Thompson’s come for a long time to realising a totally coherent and consistent record from start to finish. It has no real weaknesses, save one. That is the dominance of two songs which are among the best he’s ever written. “Guns Are The Tongues” is epic in every way and an outstanding addition to his canon. “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” may not have the same sweeping scale, but is lyrically dead on, mixing poeticism and politics with precision. These two tracks do tend to overshadow the rest which is a shame, because there is some superb material on the album. I think it’s his best since Shoot Out The Lights hit the racks a quarter of a century ago.

This is a great acoustic version of “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” that looks like it was recorded on a webcam!

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