Teddy Thompson: Separate Ways CD Review

For fans of the folk-pop scene, Teddy Thompson is not a stranger. At the very least, you have heard of his family. However, for many music fans, the music of the Thompson family has not been heard. His parents, Richard and Linda, are icons in Britain, and their son has picked up their talent and then-some, especially on his sophomore solo release, Separate Ways.

Having been raised in a musical family, Thompson started his first band in his early teens. Then at 18, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his own musical direction and found himself with a major-label record deal with Virgin. Now, years later, he is more mature, wiser, and his music also shows this very development.

Musically, Separate Ways is striking in its beautiful simplicity. Many songs only feature a couple instruments, yet the melody is always catchy and accessible. In fact, the music is the perfect backdrop to contrast the stark lyrics as Thompson sings of love lost or soon to be and seeing life in hindsight.

“A lot of these songs come from that feeling of growing up and wanting to leave certain things behind, while others are about making sense of your relationships with other people,” says Thompson. “Often, those two things can be quite similar.” This is especially on the stoic title track and the resonating “I Wish It Was Over.”

There are so many highlights here from the electronica (yes, electronica!) on the album’s opener “Shine So Bright” to the tragic “Sorry To See Me Go.” And not only are the songs this good, but the guest list is even stronger. Thompson’s parents are featured on a couple tracks. Others include Rufus and Martha Wainwright, drummer Matt Chamberlain (David Bowie, Fiona Apple) and keyboardist Garth Hudson of The Band.

Ultimately, Separate Ways is an album that is complete on so many levels. Thompson’s future is limitless as he shows a maturity that will definitely lead to a long career.

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