Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
You Me Us
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Sometimes even a legend just wants to have fun. Having gradually achieved his lofty position as a titan of British folk-rock and as one of Britain's finest songwriters, period, Richard Thompson allows his instincts as a s... more »
Sometimes even a legend just wants to have fun. Having gradually achieved his lofty position as a titan of British folk-rock and as one of Britain's finest songwriters, period, Richard Thompson allows his instincts as a sublime guitarist to dominate this casually brilliant double album. Separated into distinct electric and acoustic programs, the "voltage-enchanced" Disc 1 gives us generous doses of a rockin' Richard, featuring some of his most extroverted string-bending in years and some terrific songs, capped by "Razor Dance" and an acid "Put It There Pal." On the "nude" second disc, Thompson unplugs to reel off some of the most beautiful guitar filigree and keening acoustic leads imaginable, focusing on a program largely devoted to ballads. As always, his ability to couple timeless musical forms with trenchant commentary gives these songs power--try the closing "Woods of Darney," set during World War I, which combines an antiwar message, a love song, and a ghost story in its concise verses. --Sam Sutherland
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jgc | Charlottesville, VA United States | 01/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every time I start thinking that maybe the world is a beautiful place after all and that things eventually make a wondrous sort of sense, I remind myself that Richard Thompson has yet to reach a wide audience, and I must admit the universe is a dark, cold void in which we are all hopelessly doomed. That is the only way I can explain such injustice. Will the public please start picking up on this guy, so I can stop worrying about him and get on with my life?'You? Me? Us?' has a lousy title, and is packaged in a rather overblown way -- two CDs (acoustic and electric), when it probably could have fit on a single disk. I guess this was a bid to make it seem like a big statement, definitive, just through sheer physical heft. It wasn't necessary, because this is a typically excellent Thompson album. Tracks like "Bank Vault in Heaven," "Dark Hand Over My Heart," "The Ghost of You Walks" -- these are more than good songs. They're beautiful, ferocious, heartbreaking. This isn't the work of some amusing, reliable minor craftsman; this is the work of a world-class artist whose songwriting belongs in the pantheon with Lennon, Dylan, Young, and Reed, and whose electric guitar can kick doors down. Please, buy this album before the damn thing goes out of print."
Another abandoned Thompson gem...
ewomack | MN USA | 10/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"All Richard Thompson fans must have deeply furrowed brows. Here's this guy who puts out amazing album after amazing album and yet remains bizarrely obscure. Not only that, many of his albums fester in out of print bins. To obtain much of Thompson's work, one must rummage through piles of used CDs or order through online used dealers (true, the internet has greatly facilitated this process in the past five years). Capitol Records didn't help much by dumping Thompson around 1999 and almost immediately removing all his titles from their CD printers. Consequently, 1996's double-disc "You? Me? Us" doesn't show up too much anymore on store shelves. It remains one of Thompson's most elusive albums from his Capitol era.
Similar to most of Thompson's Capitol output, "You? Me? Us?" contains much incredible material along with a few head-scratchers. Disc one, "Voltage Enhaced", contains songs fueled by a full band. The other disc, "Nude" mainly features songs with a more folky or acoustic arrangement and feel. Both contain great material. "Razor Dance" rips in with a satire on back talking and negative gossip. In this dance, the winners hold the most effective insults. The lyrics may evoke some of the ads currently circulating for the 2004 election. "She Steers by Lightning" describes a nightmare ride where the driver uses "Milton as a road map". We all know someone that we'd like to sing "Put it There Pal" to. It spits poison sarcasm from the point of view of the used. The hilarious "Business on You" threatens an object of desire with magic mind-controlling love spells. Listen for the scream before the solo. Very funny. "Bank Vault in Heaven" lumbers in with one of Thompson's weightiest beats. It almost sounds grunge. Disc one's closer, "The Ghost of You Walks" is one of Thompson's best songs. Sometimes relationships just don't work out even when both parties want them to. They tried their hardest but to no avail. This song reflects on the feeling of being in that position. The mood fits better with the "Nude" disc, and following "Bank Vault in Heaven" it's almost an anomalous surprise.
Disc two has more sparse arrangements and feels lonely and beautiful. "Baby Don't Know What To Do With Herself" assimilates the listener into the much more melancholy environment of "Nude". A sliding bass and an acoustic guitar provide the only accompaniment to Thompson's voice at first. Later on hurdy gurdys, violins, and mandolins arrive, but the arragements remain minimalistic. "She Cut Off Her Long Silken Hair" wails longingly about lost love. "Train Don't Leave" is a bouncy ditty about potential lost love. Thompson couldn't miss a double disc set without a song about death or a killer. "Sam Jones" is classic Thompson. Lyrically and musically, it sounds like a song right out of past centuries. "Sam Jones, deliver them bones".
So why two discs? Who knows? The connection between the two discs seems obscure and a little contrived. And why include two versions of "Razor Dance" and "Hide It Away"? Both versions are great, but the album didn't need both versions to be a great album. In fact, including both versions arguably bogs down the pace. One version of "Razor Dance" would have whet any listener's appetite. Maybe Capitol tried to capitalize on the "unplugged" craze of the time?
In the end, "You? Me? Us?" contains enough great material to satisfy any Thompson fan. Those who have never heard Thompson before may be overwhelmed. Point them to "Rumor and Sigh". Converts will find their way to this album soon enough. That is, if someone brings it back into print."
bob turnley | birmingham,al,usa | 07/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's how it goes. You see a Thompson double album and your expectations go through the roof. Upon first listening you say this isn't first class Thompson. But then upon third or fourth listening, when the songs start to sink in to your soul, you realize this is very, very good. On most of his albums I like almost all the songs and love one or two. On You, Me, Us I love Burns Supper. I love The Ghost of You Walks. I love Dark Hand. And there's just so much more. And by splitting the electric and acoustic material on seperate discs, it really is like two albums for the price of one. What more could you ask for?
For me, if Thompson never reaches these artistic heights again, I will be satisfied with You, Me, Us."