Versatile Heart

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The stately music of Brit-folk eminence Linda Thompson barely hints at the trauma that nearly silenced her, a rare anxiety-derived condition called hysterical dysphonia. In fact, Thompson's voice doesn't seem to have aged or diminished at all; like the Queen herself, it sails majestically ever onward. But don't think that she's standing still. Working closely with her daughter Kamila and son Teddy, as well as Rufus Wainwright and his sister Martha (and recording in Brooklyn, New York, of all places), Thompson is as vital as ever. Her version of Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan's war story "The Day After Tomorrow" is a new high-water mark for art inspired by the Iraq ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The stately music of Brit-folk eminence Linda Thompson barely hints at the trauma that nearly silenced her, a rare anxiety-derived condition called hysterical dysphonia. In fact, Thompson's voice doesn't seem to have aged or diminished at all; like the Queen herself, it sails majestically ever onward. But don't think that she's standing still. Working closely with her daughter Kamila and son Teddy, as well as Rufus Wainwright and his sister Martha (and recording in Brooklyn, New York, of all places), Thompson is as vital as ever. Her version of Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan's war story "The Day After Tomorrow" is a new high-water mark for art inspired by the Iraq debacle, keeping listeners at the edge of their seats waiting for it all to end in tragedy. Kami Thompson's "Nice Cars" adds a '70s smolder that shows Mom still can get away with a sexy number; and "Beauty," written for Thompson by Rufus Wainwright, is a heartbreaking number made all the more eerie by the voice of Antony of Antony and the Johnsons. Along for the ride are an omnium-gatherum of Brit-folk heroes, including Martin Carthy and daughter Eliza, the Irish singer Susan McKeown, and others, all playing at their most hardy and sincere. With Thompson exploring a number of moods, Versatile Heart delivers on its title and keeps the music, and spirit, flowing strongly.
All Music Guide - J. Poet
Linda Thompson is a meticulous craftswoman, seemingly incapable of putting out music that's any less than spectacular. She follows up her spectacular comeback album, 2002's Fashionably Late, with this stunning collection of ballads, proving to all that her creative fire remains undiminished. There are a few tunes by other writers. Rufus Wainwright contributes "Beauty," a poignant tune that Thompson delivers with her understated majesty, while her reading of the Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan protest song "Day After Tomorrow" is positively heartrending. The song is written as a letter home from a young man in Iraq, praying that he'll live to see his 21st birthday; Thompson's vocal here is haunting, brimming over with raw longing and an almost fatal resignation. As good as those songs are, they're merely appetizers for the main course, eight new Thompson tunes, some written in collaboration with her son Teddy, and a new song by her daughter Kamila, "Nice Cars." On "Do Your Best for Rock 'n Roll," Linda and Teddy channel the ghost of Hank Williams, Sr. The tune suggests "Your Cheatin' Heart," but moves in its own unique direction, with Thompson's weary country vocal laying out her broken but still beating heart for all to see. It's a wrenching performance, with James Walbourne's guitar mixed to produce a blue-tinged, larger-than-life-size twang. "Give Me a Sad Song," another country weeper, co-written with Betsy Cook, uses the usual images of booze, country music, and remorse, with a quavering vocal by Thompson that wouldn't sound out of place on anything coming out of Nashville. "Blue & Gold" is written as an English folk song, using the language of fairy tales to explore the ups and downs of love. "Whiskey, Bob Copper and Me" is another new traditional-sounding British folk song, a tribute to Bob Copper, the A.P. Carter of British traditional music. It's another song of bereavement with Eliza Carthy supplying the poignant harmony vocals. Thompson's heart may be versatile, but her forte is her ability to imbue songs of remorse, loss, and frustrated desire with a soulful beauty and an implied state of grace. Every album is deeper, more sensitive, and more inspiring than the last -- and this one is no exception.
New York Times
Linda Thompson still sounds richly disconsolate... Melancholy is Ms. Thompson's element.
Entertainment Weekly - Tom Sinclair
May well be the most compelling...avant-chamber-pop treat of the year... [A-]
BBC Music Magazine
Stark, honest and understated, Versatile Heart is easily the equal of Thompson’s best work from the 70’s.
USA Today
A marvel of timeless purity and effortless authority.
National Public Radio
Though Thompson remains a formidable songwriter, the most bruisingly affecting track here is her tender remake of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan's 2004 antiwar gem "Day After Tomorrow."

Linda Thompson still sounds richly disconsolate... Melancholy is Ms. Thompson's element.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/14/2007
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661321724
  • Catalog Number: 613217
  • Sales rank: 103,701

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Stay Bright (1:31)
  2. 2 Versatile Heart (3:25)
  3. 3 The Way I Love You (3:57)
  4. 4 Beauty (4:13)
  5. 5 Katy Cruel (2:22)
  6. 6 Nice Cars (2:45)
  7. 7 Do Your Best for Rock 'N Roll (4:47)
  8. 8 Day After Tomorrow (5:03)
  9. 9 Blue & Gold (3:02)
  10. 10 Give Me a Sad Song (3:56)
  11. 11 Go Home (4:32)
  12. 12 Whisky, Bob Copper and Me (2:50)
  13. 13 Stay Bright (1:46)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Linda Thompson Primary Artist
Teddy Thompson Guitar
Antony Vocals
Martha Wainwright Vocals
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Versatile Heart

    I recently discovered Linda Thompson and I can't get enough of her. I love her old music with her ex husband Richard Thompson. She also is a very good song writer herself. The songs that Richard wrote for her to sing I think are better done by Linda than by Richard although I like Richard Thompson too. And their son Teddy. I also like her version of the song Nice Cars that Kami Thompson wrote her mother sings it so well. Linda has been compared to Sandy Denny. I have to say I don't know what the big deal is with Sandy Denny. Maybe it's because I heard Linda first as well as Anne Briggs. I wish I had heard more women British singers in the 70's along with our wonderful Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews