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4.6 out of 5 stars28
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 September 2006
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.
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on 1 November 2005
Stunning, just stunning. Make no bones, Teddy Thompson will be the name to look out for in 2006. This album is sensational from start to finish, 12 tracks of pure song-writing class, Separate Ways establishes Teddy Thompson as a star waiting to be catapulted into the stratosphere. It is, as they say, all killer no filler. The first half of this record is simply astounding and you’d have to go back as far as Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’ to better it. I genuinely cannot think of another album in recent memory that opens with so many strong songs and the quality never lets up. ‘Shine So Bright’ is an awesome opener – sparse backing, clever lyrics and a tempting little melody that gently pulls you in. It’s then followed by the rocking ‘I Should Get Up’ which leads into - anthem in waiting - ‘Everybody Move It’. For only his second full album Teddy sure knows his way round a song. As with all the songs here ‘Everybody Move It’ is catchy without ever being annoying, clever without ever being smug and simple without ever being too basic. The songs aren’t over produced or overly long, yet you’re never left wanting or expecting more. It is of course true that Teddy is of good song writing stock and being the son of Richard and Linda Thompson may go some way to explaining his brilliant knowledge of song craft, but Teddy isn’t trading on the family name and Separate Ways will mark him out as a star in his own right. I could literally go through every song on the album, they are all that good, but when you have something this special it doesn’t make sense to over analyse it – suffice to say that ‘I Wish It Was Over’, ‘Separate Ways’ and ‘Altered State’ are just some more of the gems. Some other famous musical offspring appear in the form of Rufus and Martha Wainwright yet even these established performers don’t overshadow Teddy and thankfully the guest spots don’t fall into the novelty category.
All the tracks here have that special quality of sounding like instant classics and old favourites after only a couple of listens and quite simply the quality of these songs will speak for themselves. Some people probably think that the last thing the world needs is another singer-songwriter, but when it is this good, believe me, the world does need Teddy Thompson.
After the release of his self titled debut album a few years back it would be fair to say that Teddy ‘made a solid start but could try harder’ yet now a couple of years on, with Separate Ways, there is no doubt that Teddy Thompson will be sitting pretty at the top of the class.
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on 28 November 2005
The reviews have said it all. This guy is going to be huge. There isn't a bad track on this album and the brilliant 'Altered State' will stay with you for a very long time to come. Not only can you here the quite wonderful Jackson Brown floating around in the beautiful atmospheric lyrics, but here and there on the album is Crowded House. Buy it now before everyone else won't be dissapointed. And after you do, uncork the wine, turn the lights down and just revel in the best album of 2005.
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on 8 January 2006
I'm sure Teddy gets fed up with the Father/Son comparisons, but let's face, it was always going to happen. It can't be an easy thing being the offspring of such a brilliant songwriter and having to follow in Dad's footsteps - as I'm sure his cohorts Rufus and Martha would concur!
However, it is well worth anyone's time giving this album a severe listening. Teddy is not merely a Richard clone and the standard of songwriting displayed here is absolutely exemplary - as it was, though less consistently - on his previous solo outing.
I would guess that a lot of this album was written as a result of the passing of a relationship; God knows we've all been there! Sorry to hear that, but if it results in songs of the quality of I Wish It Was Over, Separate Ways and Altered States then maybe it was all worth it.
The family do appear - there is a lot of very familiar sounding guitar on the album. In fact, if I have a criticism it would be over the rather silly "hidden" track at the end - an attempt to shoe Mummy in to the album and not really necessary. Her albums are more than good enough to need this exposure!
Anyway, buy it. Not a bad moment throughout.
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on 19 December 2005
I hadn't heard of this artist until I bought the sountrack from Brokeback Mountain on which Teddy makes two contributions. Probably as a result of that purchase, Amazon recommended this album. Not a duff track on it - not even the one you can only listen to after the last listed track (and several minutes of silence) have passed. I intend to play this album until my family beg for mercy - which, as they like it too, may be a very long time.
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on 5 February 2006
I got this cd on a whim as i had never heard of him or his famous mother and father before and i just thought that the reviews on the cover sounded good, but i'm sure glad i picked this one up.
It's a very interesting mixture of country music and feel good rock songs; i especially love the song "Altered State" it's a brilliant upbeat, happy sounding song. Another of my favourites is "No Way To Be" as i think it sends out a very good message. ive only had this cd about two days now, and i truely love it already.
Every note of music and guitar/drums, whatever may be playing in any song at any particular moment fits perfectly.
I'm not very good at writing these reviews, and i havent done so in a while, but be sure that if you're looking for a good, happy-sounding cd to really brighten up your day you really can't go wrong with this one, this really truely is a brilliant cd(!!!!) and i'd definatley say to check it out especially at the price its at now you simply cant go wrong.
I'll be sure to check out his debut cd very, very soon!
Brilliant find!!
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on 3 May 2006
Have been a fan of his dad's for decades, so I was a bit wary of what the son might come up with - but what a delight. This album is a joy to listen to, with the title track and 'Think again' meriting special mention. Beautifully understated arrangements and great instrumentals (check out Richard on 'Think again' - reminiscent of what he did on Sandy Denny's version of 'Blackwaterside') accompany really good lyrics and moving delivery. Will certainly get more of his albums soon. My advice to anyone else is 'Get this one!'
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on 3 December 2005
You usually get an honest opinion in the customer reviews section and I have to thank the first person who reviewed this album for their excellent feedback. This is a truly beautiful melodic album and hopefully will be like James Blunt, a late charger. He deserves every success for 2006 so let's hope many more of you will read these reviews and take our word that this truly is a master class of singer-songwriting !
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on 27 May 2006
I saw Teddy Thompson at the Wedgwood Rooms in Portsmouth. He's charming, witty, quirky, and above all he can sing - the words come from his heart. 'Separate Ways' the album's title and you know he's been through it, stood out in the rain and waited. 'I should get up', how many of us have been there, fighting the blankets knowing that we ought to rise but wanting the comfortable sanctuary. Insistent, however, there is no sanctuary here, we must get up. With no backing except his guitar 'Sorry to see me go', perhaps cornily, he sang this as an encore at Portsmouth, is simple and soulful. Track 4, `I wish it was over'; haunting, you know he doesn't really mean it. Not all the songs however are about lost love, 'Everybody move it', this is a party, no frowns allowed and I defy anybody to sit still for `That's enough out of you'; superb guitarist by the way. I love the richness of `Altered State' with the guitar of you-know-who in the background, which brings me on to a plea. Please people, stop, referring to RT in your write-ups. This is Teddy not daddy.
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It's a small world sometimes.

The world's of The Wainwrights, The McGarrigles
and The Thompsons intertwine endlessly if seems.

Fathers and Sons. Mothers and Daughters.

Mr Thompson jnr's self-admission that he needs
a kick in the butt occasionally has on this occasion
resulted in a very fine album indeed.

Since his eponymous 2000 debut the songwriting has
become more rounded, more confident and this from
a young man clearly ill-at-ease with himself.

12 songs framing narcissistic uncertainty, emotional fragility
and deadpan self-mockery in a truthful and revealing way.

Self-flagellation and obsession apart there are some damned
good tunes here. Catchy. Memorable. Mr.Thompson's untilitarian
tenor a tender and affecting instrument at times.

Musical and moral support from friends and family is strong throughout.

Vocal contributions from a brace of Wainwrights on 'Shine So Bright'
and 'Everybody Move It' are predictably stunning.

Pere Thompson's distinctive guitar gets several worthy airings
notably on 'I Wish It Was Over'.

'No Way To Be' is perhaps the true beating/bleeding heart of the album.
A very beautiful song. 'Frontlines' a close second-best.

('Take A Message To Mary' also makes a sweet gift if you are patient).

The overall production values are workmanlike but complementary.

The evidence would support the view that Mr Thompson has indeed
found his own voice.

Highly recommended.
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