Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
A literate songwriter and fearlessly talented guitarist, Richard Thompson is also a complete bust when it comes to romance. Or so Mock Tudor, which details love gone wrong from an early age to present, suggests over and ov... more »
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Amazon.com's Best of 1999
A literate songwriter and fearlessly talented guitarist, Richard Thompson is also a complete bust when it comes to romance. Or so Mock Tudor, which details love gone wrong from an early age to present, suggests over and over. Fortunately, Thompson makes his troubles worth our concern, thanks to his mix of wounded perseverance ("Dry My Tears and Move On") and all-out bile (the vindictive but ultimately self-destructive "Hope You Like the New Me"). --Keith Moerer
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Thank God Mitchell Froom didn't ruin this one
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was so pleased Richard finally jettisoned Mitchell Froom and his horrible production. Though every Thompson album is a gem, he seems to release an out and out masterpiece every 4 or 5 albums(Shoot out the Lights, Daring Adventures, Rumour and Sigh) Well finally we have the Thompson masterpiece for the late 90's. The new producers, Rothrock and Schnapf seem to understand the subtleties of Thompson's music way better than Froom. Instead of bludgeoning the listener, the nuances of the songs shines through. Thompson's concept album about growing up in London is a thrill to hear. "Sights and Sounds of London Town" is as good as Thompson gets and "Crawl Back" is a great rock song. They're all good. Pick up Mock Tudor."
email@example.com | Dallas, TX United States | 08/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't gush often, but this is that rare album fully deserving of 5 stars (and may be more). "Mock Tudor" stands head and shoulders above every other solo RT album I've heard--and many are very good themselves. This is a fully satisfying musical experience.First, there is not a weak track to be found anywhere on this disc. Usually, RT's records include a duffer or two and/or a joke song that goes stale. Every song on "Mock Tudor" is an absolute gem that rewards repeated listenings. You are likely to have a new favorite song every time you listen to it. I have now listened to the album so much that I cannot name a favorite--they are all that good.Second, as has been mentioned in other reviews, the production finally works. I don't have anything against Mitchell Froom per se (his work with Elvis Costello and others is often quite good), but his heavy handed style never seemed to mesh with RT. The sound created by Rothrock and Schnapf is absolutely perfect for this material.If you have ever had any interest in Richard Thompson, buy this record today. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
One of Thompson's best ever...
ewomack | MN USA | 03/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Thompson's last album for Capitol Records was one of his best (arguably vying for first place with 1991's "Rumor and Sigh"). But what a way to go out. 1999's "Mock Tudor" contains incredible songs and poingant lyrics that revolve around a theme of growing up in the London suburbs. Consequently, the album, like much of Thompson's work, swims with Briticisms that might elude Americans.
That leads to "Cooksferry Queen" the album's scorching bluesy opener. It builds to an infernal creshendo replete with frenetic guitars, blasting harmonica, and Thompson's intensifying plea that "She's my Cooksferry Queen!" So what's "Cooksferry"? Internet searches suggest that the song was inspired by a jazz, R&B, and blues pub from Thompson's formative years in North London. The bluesy feel of the song supposedly sets the scene. The song also contains the great reference to a woman's "pre-Raphaelite" curls.
"Sibella", an extremely catchy song, waxes on a bizarre love affair where the narrator finds himself "strangely true" though "we don't make sense together". "Bathsheba Smiles" probably fits the mold of "hit" more than any other song on "Mock Tudor". It seems to explore the seductiveness of women with reference to the famous Biblical woman with whom King David committed adultery.
"Two Faced Love" bounces along happily and contains the great lines: "You don't make my blood run cold / You don't fit my jelly mold". "Hard on Me" features an anvil-pounding rhythym, teeth-gritting vocals and an unforgettable angst. Supposedly Thompson wrote it with his father in mind.
Next comes the album's most seriously funny song, "Crawl Back (Under My Stone)"; a claws-open rip at class society: "I want to be middle class / floor and ceilings made of glass / I just want to be free". "Uninhabited Man" darkly and broodingly continues the theme of insignificance and alientation. Not much humor in this one.
The next two songs deal with one of Thompson's favorite on-going themes: lost or broken love. Nearly every mortal ever born can identify with the heart-breaking "Dry My Tears And Move On". But thankfully we can bounce back from such dire episodes, as "Walking the Long Miles Home" reminds us.
"Sights and Sounds of London Town" is just what its title suggests. A series of lyrical vignettes about the life experiences of Londoners (lots of London references here). The appropriately dour "That's All, Amen, Close the Door" was written for English singer Sandy Denny (a former Fairport Convention member who died in 1978).
The album's closer sticks like glue: "Hope you Like The New Me". Thompson wrote this about those who had stolen music or money from him. The song's stark grim seriousness suggests Thompson's seriousness (though the song also has a dark humorous edge to it).
Surprisingly, after such a brilliant album, Thompson and Capitol split ways. Sadly, Thompson's sales have never been stellar (though he still has a very faithful following). Which goes to prove that sales and quality are totally different beasts. Luckily, "Mock Tudor" remains in print after most of Thompson's Capitol albums have disappeared from circulation. Most can easily be obtained from online auctions or used bins. Happily, Thompson perseveres and continues to record with smaller labels. Major label fallout could never stop a songwriting powerhouse like Thompson."