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Richard Thompson: Electric

Mr Reliable plugs in.

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.