Thompson Family review – generations show their talent, while Linda looks on
Kings Place, London
Teddy and Kami Thompson did a remarkable thing getting their parents Richard and Linda to record together again. If only mum had got up from the audience to sing live
Thompson is not just a writer of fine songs but a diplomatic genius. It’s over 30 years since the very public break-up of Richard and Linda Thompson, once the finest folk duo in the country, but their son has encouraged a musical reconciliation. Six years ago he persuaded his parents to join him at a memorable Christmas benefit for Amnesty International, and last month saw the release of the Thompson Family album, produced by Teddy and including both Richard and Linda, along with Teddy’s brother Jack, sister Kami and her husband James Walbourne (aka the Rails), his brother Rob, and nephew Zak Hobbs.
Associated Press reviewed “Family” this week calling it a “fine family album” with “lots of good listening.” Check out the review below or visit ap.com
Review: A fine family album from the Thompsons
Nov. 17, 2014 1:51 PM EST
Thompson, “Family” (Fantasy/Concord)
The dynamics of this supremely talented musical family range far beyond pianissimo and forte.
Teddy Thompson, who spearheaded the “Family” project, exaggerates only a tad when he describes his parents in the opening lyrics. “My father is one of the greats to ever step on the stage; My mother has the most beautiful voice in the world.”
Thing is, Richard and Linda Thompson split in 1982, when Teddy was 6. Both parents long ago remarried, but Teddy decided a family album would help with healing, even 32 years later.
And so we have a song contest that is confessional, collaborative and competitive. Teddy, his sister Kami, Richard and Linda contribute two compositions each, while Teddy’s brother Jack and nephew Zak Hobbs provide one apiece. Family members take turns pitching in with instrumental support and backing vocals via long-distance overdubs.
The result: lots of good listening and fodder for therapists. Richard and Teddy each perform a kiss-off song. Linda offers tender counsel to her male progeny. Teddy rates one sister as prettier than his other. Kami longs for solitude.
Toward the end, Richard serves up a non sequitur, “That’s Enough,” a protest song that rails against the one-percenters. Eight relatives sing backing vocals, and, at least musically, family harmony is finally achieved.