Mock Tudor

Mock Tudor

by Richard Thompson
     
 

Still criminally underappreciated in America, Richard Thompson deserves to be considered among contemporaries like Elvis Costello as one of the most idiosyncratically brilliant songwriters of the past 25 years. A return to form, MOCK TUDOR is Thompson at his strongest, setting viscously bitter, forlorn love sentiments to beautifullySee more details below

Overview

Still criminally underappreciated in America, Richard Thompson deserves to be considered among contemporaries like Elvis Costello as one of the most idiosyncratically brilliant songwriters of the past 25 years. A return to form, MOCK TUDOR is Thompson at his strongest, setting viscously bitter, forlorn love sentiments to beautifully barbed tunes like "Bathsheba Smiles" and "Hard on Me." His fabled, modally Eastern guitar playing -- which has as much to do with John Coltrane as "Johnny B. Goode" -- has rarely been so taut, and the spare, smart accompaniments (including those of his guitar-playing son Teddy) and subtly sweetened production keep the overall feel spacious yet intimate. Sure, this music can be dark and, at times, grotesque ("Did you count your fingers after shaking my hand," he sings on "Crawl Back Under My Stone"), but it embeds itself into the back of your mind like no other pop-chart pap.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Just how lost Richard Thompson was under Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake's direction during the '90s is made clear by Mock Tudor, the brilliant sequel to the botched You? Me? Us? Producers/engineers Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf keep the production clean and direct, allowing the songs to breathe and letting Thompson play guitar. That decision alone would have made Mock Tudor a satisfying listen, but what elevates it into the first rank of his albums is, naturally, the songs themselves. Thompson structured the album as a portrait of suburbia, tackling a different subject with each song. It's not all about desperation, although there certainly is a lot of that there. Instead, Thompson is at the top of his form, offering subtle shadings in his lyrics and remarkably catchy, memorable melodies throughout the album. As a matter of fact, it's a bit of a tour de force, opening with the rollicking "Cooksferry Queen" and closing with its polar opposite, the hushed, intimate black comedy of "Hope You Like the New Me." Between those two songs, Thompson covers all sorts of emotional textures, resulting in his most affecting effort in years. Since even on his uneven '90s efforts he demonstrated that he still was in full grasp of his talents, it can't be said that Mock Tudor is a comeback, but it's certainly the best album he's made in over a decade.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/23/1999
Label:
Emi Europe Generic
UPC:
0724349886025
catalogNumber:
4988602
Rank:
42566

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Richard Thompson   Primary Artist,Dulcimer,Guitar,Mandolin,Harmonium,Vocals,Hurdy-Gurdy
Randall Aldcroft   Trombone
Benedict   Trombone
Mitchell Froom   Keyboards
Dave Mattacks   Percussion,Drums
Jeff Big Dad Turmes   Baritone Saxophone
Danny Thompson   Double Bass
Joey Waronker   Drums
Judith Owen   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Charlie Davis   Cornet
Teddy Thompson   Guitar,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Atom Ellis   Electric Bass
David McKelsy   Harmonica
Larry Hall   Cornet

Technical Credits

Tom Rothrock   Producer,Engineer
Rob Schnapf   Producer,Engineer
Tommy Steele   Art Direction
Paul Slater   Illustrations

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