Richard Thompson: Electric

Mr Reliable plugs in.

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Richard Thompson’s ‘legendary’ status isn’t helped by the fact that he keeps making excellent records. If one or two half-awful albums turned up every few years, his mystique would be amped up and he’d be up there with Syd Barrett and Captain Beefheart.

But Thompson’s a worker and keeps recording, so we undervalue him. Electric is a return to one of his best attributes, the snarling electric guitar. Produced by Buddy Miller, with contributions from Alison Krauss, among others, Electric has a beefiness to it lacking from 2010’s Dream Attic, and a harshness missing from 2005’s Front Parlour Ballads.

Stuck On The Treadmill is metallic grindstone funk, Stony Ground is a chunky stomper, but there’s also room for the empty-eyed melancholy of My Enemy and the proper old country of Saving The Good Stuff For You.

David Quantick

David Quantick is an English novelist, comedy writer and critic, who has worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A former staff writer for the music magazine NME, his writing credits have included On the HourBlue JamTV Burp and Veep; for the latter of these he won an Emmy in 2015.