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4.0 out of 5 stars11
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on 20 August 2007
This is quite simply a stunning return with highlights galore, but for me the standout track has to be 'Go Home', all the more so as it's recorded live. This lady is pure class, and this cd is a must!!
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on 30 July 2013
I picked up a copy of this album a couple of days ago. I haven't heard her earlier album, but I reckon this is pretty good. There is a good variety of material, well performed and ably supported by a number of backing musicians. My attention was particularly drawn by the appearance of John Doyle on a number of the songs.

My personal favourite is her cover of a Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan song 'Day After Tomorow'. Recorded live, beautifully sung by Linda with harmony vocals from daughter Kamila and tasteful acoustic guitar from John Doyle. Its a song full of meaning, and she does it very well indeed.
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VINE VOICEon 30 October 2007
This album is primarily contemplative in tone and sparely arranged, coloured in with touches of brass here, strings there, accordion elsewhere. In her self-penned compositions there are plenty of observations on life from a woman whose own life has taken many unexpected turns, not all of them very pleasant. And she has the benefits of some quality songwriting assistance from people including Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright and her son Teddy Thompson, who also plays guitar. "Versatile Heart" is a fragile beauty, but with a certain underlying strength and dignity, as you'd expect of Linda Thompson.
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on 31 August 2007
It's been a long time. OK, Linda delivered the splendid "Fashionably Late" in 2002 after over 10 years of silence with a vocal disorder, but in my opinion, "Versatile Heart" is even better. I haven't seen her perform live since her on-stage antics with Richard (you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife at times), but this album is a must-hear. Her voice is as good as ever, and the album features the usual suspects - her son Teddy, the incomparable Martin Carthy, and a favourite of mine, accordion player John Kirkpatrick. The best folk-rock album of the year so far. It should win awards.
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on 1 October 2009
Linda Thompson is like a good wine. She keeps getting better. Fashionably late was great. This one may even be better on repeated listening. She sums it up in the above-mentioned song-title. Give her a sad song and there is nobody better. The quality of the production and the recording is really good too. Don't let this one escape your attention.
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on 29 June 2015
The songs on this CD are very well written and the music is very well produced and of course Linda's singing is excellent as usual.
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on 3 March 2013
For a long time i didn't hear no new music or records of Linda.
What a beautiful surprise
Run and buy it urgentely
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on 3 September 2007
...but none the worse for that really. It's the early 'folky' stuff on the album that lets it down for me, and the album doesn't really hit its stride until Track 7 ('Do Your Best For Rock 'N Roll' - another reviewer does not like this, but it I think it kickstarts the album). Teddy Thompson's guitar work impresses, and he's a strong influence on the album as a whole. Inconsistent then, so it may be best just downloading a few tracks (my favourite is Track 8, the Tom Waits song, 'Day After Tomorrow').
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on 3 September 2007
Her first studio release for 5 years, this is the new album from Linda Thompson. Her voice seems fine for someone that loses it on a regular basis, but her choice of material isn't one that uplifts my heart.

I can't say "buy this album" with hand on heart, but take a listen. Others have enjoyed it far more than me. You may be amongst that number and god knows, the talent of this woman needs encouragement,

Stay Bright

Two straightforward instrumental tracks of this name top and tail the album. Nice. Filler.

Versatile Heart

The title track starts with a discordant brass band, reflecting the discordant emotions of the song.

"you can play any part with a versatile heart,
Sugar soft and sweet, you make my life complete"

"You're lucky you can choose who you love and who you lose
That's An Art"

"Stay on the road you two faced fool
That way we'll not come to blows"

Discordant, unsettling, quite brilliant,

The Way I Love You

Another melancholy song, wistful and slow. With an accordion.

Beauty

Another melancholy song, wistful and slow. With strings. Contributed by Rufus Wainwright, I still think most of his songs would be done best by k.d.laing,

Katy Cruel

For me this is almost the standout track of the album. Lively, vital, singing tinged with humour, it has it all.

Nice Cars

Daughter Kamila wrote this witty composition, that shows her mothers talents off. An excellent song. This is the standout track of the album for me.

Do Your Best For Rock `N Roll

Dolly Parton would have been proud. Dross.

Day After Tomorrow

A melancholy anti-war song from the pen of Tom Waits, wistful and slow.

Blue & Gold

AMS, W&S. Sorry.

Give Me A Sad Song

Suddenly american, a Dolly Parton song. A low.

Go Home

AMS, W&S. About the end of a relationship, from an unusual viewpoint. Despite myself, I like this!

Whiskey, Bob Copper And Me

A paean to the early days. Somewhat enjoyable.

Stay Bright

The tail, musically more complex than the top. Short and sweet.
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on 7 August 2009
A real let down, after the wonderful 'Fashionably Late'.

The voice is weaker I think, but that wouldn't matter so much if it weren't for the poor song selection. Much of the material is low-grade and even the better stuff just doesn't suit her voice.

Buy 'Fashionably Late' but give this one a miss. Although you could download the absolutely splendid 'Katy Cruel' - for me, head and shoulders above the rest of the album.
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