After 17 years away, Fashionably Late signalled Linda Thompson's triumphant return to the world stage. As one of the greatest female rock singers, Thompson reaffirmed her songwriting skills on this release with the moving ... more »Nine Stone Rig and Weary Life. Guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright, Van Dyke Parks and, for the first time in 20 years, Richard Thompson, contribute to a truly powerful piece of art.« less
After 17 years away, Fashionably Late signalled Linda Thompson's triumphant return to the world stage. As one of the greatest female rock singers, Thompson reaffirmed her songwriting skills on this release with the moving Nine Stone Rig and Weary Life. Guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright, Van Dyke Parks and, for the first time in 20 years, Richard Thompson, contribute to a truly powerful piece of art.
Bob Dubery | Johannesburg, South Africa | 03/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...that's what's missing in so much mass-market pop music these days. Well here's an antidote. This album is rich with superb craftsmanship - elegant harmonies, real instruments (acoustic guitars, fiddles, accordions), lovely songs that whilst recently written have a timeless quality.Oh, and let's not forget the return of a great voice. After a long silence (literally) Linda Thompson has returned and she has lost nothing as a singer and reveals herself here as a fine composer."
Call It Fashionably Timeless
James Carragher | New York | 05/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Seventeen years of recorded silence, but when it was broken in Fashionably Late time, Linda Thompson's return could just as well have come one year after One Clear Moment. And timeless is a good thing -- her voice, whatever it went through in the interim, rings rich and unscathed. Although she wrote or co-wrote nine of the ten songs, they sound decades or centuries old, recalling Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span in their primes or, reaching even further back, the Childe Ballads that Joan Baez sang in her very early albums. Count on mayhem and dissolution aplenty -- a lover gorily murdered (Nine Stone Rig), a worn out whore (On the Banks of the Clyde), and gothic secrets (Miss Murray). A fairly stock "I never should have married" lament surprises with a couple of humorous twists (Weary Life). A little less general bleakness would have been welcome, as in my favorite cut, No Telling where two people unexpectedly revive each other's glow for life. Evona Darling is another highlight, as Linda trades verses with her son Teddy. Dear Mary gets ex-husband Richard in the mix with some great guitar and an irresistible chorus; it's the second best song on the album. The weakest is Paint and Powder Beauty, a dragging six minute dirge of a prostitute way past her prime. But then to close comes the intriguing Dear Old Man of Mine -- a weary, all-scores-settled Valentine to a past love. Can there be any doubt who it's about?"
Neil Bostock | Middletown, NY United States | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just as a correction to the previous posting, Linda Thompson never sang with Fairport Convention, but started her career with husband Richard. Doesn't diminish her brilliance, but for the sake of accuracy..."
A True Love Comes
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 04/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Keeping in the spirit of the title of this CD, I picked it up 5 years after its release. Wow! What a wonderful gem this is! Teddy Thompson's excellent "Separate Ways" CD -- that has a quite a different sound from this traditional folk -- reminded me of this disc. In fact, Teddy's lovely voice duets exquisitely with his mother. The opener, "Dear Mary," is a charmer with Richard, Teddy & Kamila Thompson creating a joyful sonic background, "Oh Mary, you may have to run; You may have to be on your way; Consider the things that you've done, you may have to run." Kate Rusby's harmony vocals, Richard Greene's fiddle & Van Dyke Parks' accordion sparkle on "Miss Murray," a sad folk ballad, "She loved one man & one man alone; A true love comes once & it's gone." "Nine Stone Rig," recorded in Asheville, North Carolina, is a bloody traditional ballad that was given to Sir Walter Scott that Linda's mournful vocal suits wonderfully, "They shot him dead at the Nine Stone Rig beside the headless cross & left him lying in his blood upon the morning* moss." "No Telling" has a lovely melody that with Kate Rusby's beautiful supporting vocal makes this a slow charmer. Lal Waterson's "Evona Darling" with son Teddy's vocals is a lovely blend, "Time has come for him to belong to someone, time will come when you will too." "When we were courting, you swooned down at my feet; but now that we're wed, I can't get you up off your feet," Mary sings in the humorous "Weary Life." Linda wrote "Paint & Powder Beauty" with Rufus Wainwright that has his orchestral flourishes, "You're drowning in kisses & feeding on danger, not forever, it's just for a while." The set concludes with the somber "Dear Old Man of Mine." Linda's voice is expressive & emotionally laden on this fine disc. Enjoy!
*My best guess on the lyric"
Like Mum, like son
John Buckingham | Worcester, MA USA | 07/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first discovered Teddy Thompson's music via his terrific SEPARATE WAYS ablum, which remains one of my all time favorites (along with Jeffrey Foucault's MILES FROM THE LIGHTNING and STRIPPING CANE). The younger Thompson's songwriting, with his biting lyrics, got extra punch because of his truly remarkable voice - alternately heartbreakingly and mournfully lovely, as on the title track, or rocked out as on "You Made It". Backpedaling, I bought his mum's FASHIONABLY LATE largely because of the Teddy's considerable participation. At first listen, I was somewhat disappointed - Linda's voice, though rich and mature, lacked the range of her son's plaintive tenor. Repeated playings, though, showed that Ms. Thompson had strengths of her own that serve her well, especially on such melancholy songs as "Paint & Powder Beauty" - the ablum's standout - and "Dear Old Man of Mine". (Her rendition of Teddy's "All I See", however, comes up far short compared to his own recording of it from his self-titled 2000 debut CD.) Other strongpoints on FASHIONABLY LATE - "Dear Mary", the bouncy Thompson family reunion of sorts, and the sweet "Evona Darling" - feature harmonious vocal intertwinings of Ms. Thompson and her gifted son. Considering Ms. Thompson's long bout of hysterical dysphonia - a form of stagefright which made singing all but impossible for her - FASHIONABLY LATE marks an impressive return to performing, not to mention a wonderful chance to hear genetics in action."