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27 Reviews
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bella, Teddy
Another piece of 'smart pop' from TT following on from 'A Piece Of What You Need'. Like his previous album some people may see 'Bella' as another step in the 'easy listening' direction. Yes, it is an easy accessible album, one listen and you'll be whistling the songs in the bath but, it is much more than that. Teddy Thompson has evidenced great vocal flexibility...
Published on 7 Feb. 2011 by Dr. Mabuse

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy Teddy ?
As a long-time fan of Teddy Thompson, I can't help but have a great sense of expectation with every new release.

I've had this CD since the week of its release but have held off posting a comment until now, in case my opinion changed. I'm afraid it hasn't.

While it is a most competent album, the phrase 'I've heard it all before' still springs to...
Published on 17 April 2011 by Roderick Keech


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5.0 out of 5 stars Slow burner, 17 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
Saw Teddy in Edinburgh recently, and it was a fantastic gig. "Bella" may in fact be his best album to date, but that is not totally obvious on a few listens, but a week or two later and umpteen plays and I'm hooked. The thing is, I don't know how to pigeon-hole this album, nor what to compare it to, but that is its strength. No one else is making music quite like this right now, at least not tha I'm aware of. Utterly brilliant.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great song writing but over produced, 11 Feb. 2011
By 
A. R. Tyte "Brit abroard" (China) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
3.5 stars for me.This album came out on February 7th, and by coincidence I went to see Teddy live at the intimate Norwich Arts Centre the very same evening without listening to the album. A friend of mine who is a big Teddy fan, spoke to me late in the day to say he quite liked the album, having played it at work all day, BUT said it was over produced with too many strings. Teddy came on stage and was accompanied by a drummer, bass player, the very impressive David Ford (who was also support at this show and is very very talented and worth checking out) and one Violinist who also sang on a couple of songs, her duet on "Tell Me what you want" was far superior to the album version. Teddy romped through his set and the new songs from Bella appeared familiar and in general, they are well written, typical Teddy Thompson songs (nothing wrong with that), catchy and very well sung and sit perfectly with his back catalogue. At the gig, we bought the new album Bella and played it on the way home in the car. Immediately I could see what my friend was talking about, the strings (as one reviewer has already said) appear on a couple of songs to have been added almost as an after thought?
I have to say that the song writing is as good as ever, if not better, I much prefer the stripped down versions sung at the concert rather than the "over produced" CD version. In time of course I am only going to remember the album version, and in time I may be able to forgive the over use of the strings. I am really not sure how Teddy allowed the album version to be released as it is now...or indeed why someone close to him has not had a word about the production. Perhaps there is a master plan, for Teddy to release a stripped down version later on, just as The Coral have done with their last album (now there's an idea)?
Old fans of Teddy are not going to have too much trouble with this album (unless you are effeccted by the production), as its typically Teddy with his high songwriting craft and silky voice. I am not sure though it will convince anyone who is unsure about him? I would give the songwriting 5 stars if it was based on the merit of the songs and his splendid voice, but it loses 1.5 stars for me because of the production.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets better with every album, 9 Feb. 2011
By 
Ms. J. A. Dougherty (Cumbria, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
Teddy Thompson gets better with every album and on Bella we see all his strengths and none of the weaknesses apparent in earlier efforts. To call his style easy listening is to miss the point. His music doesn't easily fit into any genres and is miles from what's in the charts (or on TV on a Saturday night). This album is easy to listen to because the songs are beautifully crafted, the production is excellent and his voice is just wonderful. The addition of strings and a sweeping violin set "Bella" apart from his last offering and those tracks where he seems to be channeling the Everley Brothers or Hank Williams give it a strange and wonderful retro feel in places. Most of the tracks are strong and those written with the Radio 2 playlist in mind are obvious and appealing. But as ever he is at his best when feeling sorry for himself and he writes heart-breakingly lovely ballads ("Gotta Have Someone" stands out). "Home" is quite different from everything else he's done and adds another layer to "Bella". (It seems to be Rufus Wainwright he's channeling on that one). The old fashioned duet "Tell Me What You Want" sounds like a classic cover but it's all his own.

Inspired and polished production aside, these songs sound great live too. Teddy Thompson knows how to write and perform a great song.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 21 Oct. 2013
By 
B. Hogg (Hartlepool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bella (MP3 Download)
Had never heard of his guy until I saw him perform on the recent BBC4 program Transatlantic Sessions. But what a breath of fresh air. His voice to me has a mix of Keith Urban, Vince Gill and Roy Orbison and sounding like that trio he has to be a winner in my books. Bought another of his CD's immediately.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant CD, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
I just love Teddy Thompson's music and this album is superb! The more you listen to it, the more you love it. There are so many really good tracks that I can't pick a favourite. It does it for me alright!
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4.0 out of 5 stars With a little patience..., 25 April 2011
This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
Had my doubts on 1st playing with lines like " I wanna girl who's good in bed, who knows when to knock it on the head" FFS! But persevere and you'll find a delicately refined album worthy of the surname.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Like Father, Like Son"? Indeed, but not in a good way., 3 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
First things first: I have loved Teddy Thompson since I first heard that delicious voice of his on his debut album. I've bought everything of his since, love them all, and play them all very regularly. And yet, there's something about this album that doesn't quite sit right with me.

Teddy Thompson has been quite honest, when promoting previous albums, about his shortcomings as a boyfriend, i.e. he cheats. A lot. Perhaps its the knowledge that Bella is named after a specific living, breathing, actual ex-girlfriend that makes these songs just a little bit too personal and uncomfortable to listen to, whereas songs on previous albums have just been about various anonymous conquests that have taken place between one album and the next. And there's also a self-pitying tone throughout the album which seems rather inappropriate, given the context. Additionally, there are lyrics from Take Me Back Again which at best could be described as cajoling, but at worst as bullying: "I know you're hoping to move on / But now I've written you this song / You may resist / But I insist / So let's get back to where we were".

Teddy has stated that, other than being the name of an ex-girlfriend, Bella also means "beautiful" in Italian, and references the lush string arrangements that characterise this album. For me, the strings, combined with the lyrics, vocals and subject matter, simply sum up other B-words: "bleak" and "bitter"; the sound of a 35-year-old single man fast approaching middle age who "makes mistakes and then makes them again", to paraphrase the lyrics to Over and Over. A few years ago, Teddy had taken to wearing a T-shirt bearing the legend "Like Father, Like Son". Given his own romantic history and that of his father, it is hard not to see the irony.

More paraphrasing: "I wanted to love this album, I really did / But now I'm wondering who Teddy's really trying to kid / His longings of the soul / Are leaving me so cold / I wanted to love this album, I really did" (Gotta Have Someone). But instead I find myself wishing: "Oh take me to the next one / Fast forward me to something new / Take me to the next one / It's the best thing you can do" (The Next One)!

ADDENDUM: Another reviewer mentioned that the live version of Tell Me What You Want, which he sings with Jessie Nelson, rather than Jenni Maulder (as on the album), is superior, and is absolutely spot on: Jessie has a far finer, clear-as-a-bell voice, and the album version of the song would have been much improved with her vocals. I heard Jessie sing the song first, and when I first heard the song on the CD the difference between what I was expecting to hear and what I actually heard was a rather unpleasant shock.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Teddy Thompson - Bella, 14 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
Top-notch songs from Mr Thompson continue to populate the TT catalogue. Less immediate than its predecessor, it bears repeated listening to appreciate the depth of the songs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 12 April 2014
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This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
second album of teddys, and thoroughly enjoying it. Voice absolutly amazing. Love him to do an acoustic cd. Deliverey came very quickly. Thoroughly impressed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bella, 24 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Bella (MP3 Download)
This album is my favourite and I have all Teddy's releases,not a single track that's not good. Here's looking forward to the next one.
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Bella by Teddy Thompson (Audio CD - 2011)
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