In my experience great albums are typically not those that grab you on first listening, but those that creep up on you and finally get under your skin until you can't stop playing them. This has been my experience with Teddy Thompson's second album Separate Ways. I knew of him as Richard Thompson's son and, in fact, saw him accompany his father for a few songs some years ago in an unmemorable concert in Belfast. To hear a record so complete in its musical and lyrical content was, therefore, a huge surprise. The thirteen songs (including one hidden) are all played immaculately, incorporating different melodic, rhythmic and catchy styles. Teddy himself has a rather flat but lonesome and infectious voice. His father plays sublime electric guitar on some of the tracks while Garth Hudson of The Band also helps out on keyboards. It's arguably the lyrics, however, that mark this album down as a classic. It's been a long time since I've heard a songwriter bring such fresh, if cynical and self-pitying, insights into personal relationships and their almost inevitable breakdown. Moreover, despite his mere thirty years, he provides searingly contemptuous comment on the mundanity of modern life. This album is the best I've heard for sometime.