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Front Parlour Ballads CD

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B00069I7B4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,319 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Let It Blow
  2. For Who's Sake?
  3. Miss Patsy
  4. Old Thames Side
  5. How Does Your Garden Grow?
  6. My Soul, My Soul
  7. Cressida
  8. Row, Boys, Row
  9. Mutton Street
  10. Precious One
  11. A Solitary Life
  12. Should I Betray?
  13. When We Were Boys At School

Product Description

Product Description

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Amazon.co.uk

Front Parlour Ballads is almost entirely acoustic, with all instruments but percussion played by Thompson. Despite the basic approach, however, this is not a sparse album.­ Thompson's guitar playing is as complex as ever, and the songs stand comparison with any of his best.

The opening track, "Let It Blow", is a funny account of a relationship conducted in the grubby glare of the tabloids, "For Whose Sake?" and "Miss Patsy" are sterling illustrations of Thompson's ability to frame modern sentiments and stories within time-served folk idioms. "Boys Of Mutton Street" starts with a riff which is ­ surely intentionally ­ an echo of Thompson¹s previously best-known acoustic song, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning", and "Solitary Life"{ sounds like it might be Thompson's take on Radiohead's "Fitter Happier".

There has been bizarrely little recognition of the possibility, but after the resounding classics Mock Tudor and The Old Kit Bag, Front Parlour Ballads suggests that Thompson may well be in the prime of his long and extraordinary career. --Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I agree with the former reviewer in which RT's new CD consists of demanding songs . But we RT fans know that Richard will always walk in the borders of light and darkness,or accesibility and avant garde. While 'Mock Tudor' and 'The Old Kit Bag' were really good, what I love about this new offering is finding a sense of unity that was the flaw of many RT's previous work ,even if you will find his usual eclecticism of celtic, blues and classic influence (like Debussy for instance).You won't hear the usual 'guitar solos' that,while excellent,have been a trademark in RT's career.However, this time RT offers pure naked songs that shine in the beauty of simplicity.
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Format: Audio CD
I would guess that most people have a strong preference either for Richard Thompson solo (and usually acoustic) or with the electric band. (Perhaps this is why his double album, 'You? Me? Us?', has one acoustic and one electric CD.) I would also guess that most people's rating of this solo acoustic album depends almost entirely on that preference. For myself, I prefer the stripped down, one man and his guitar RT. The songwriting on this album is his best for years. A mixture of styles include traditional English-sounding songs, the usual RT gritted teeth doom and gloom, and parlour song. Some lyrics are rather more oblique than usual, but I like that - gives pause for thought. And on this album RT is exploring new directions, which every artist needs to do. Stand still and you stagnate. An excellent listen that sounds great first time and then still improves with every listen.
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Format: Audio CD
Simply superb guitar playing and the singing's not bad either.
This stripped down acoustic approach really suits Richard Thompson and his playing is simply sublime.
Long regarded as a guitarist's guitarist, this album reinforces that opinion.
If you are a RT fan this is an essential. If you have never heard him before, you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
As some of the other reviews indicate, this album splits RT fans down the middle- those who prefer the Ferringtoncaster'd rock with the Richard Thompson Band, and those who have an interest in or appreciation of English folk music. I hadn't heard RT, other than as a part of Fairport, until I heard an advance of "My Soul, My Soul" about six months before this album was released. I listened to it on repeat for three days. In the period between my hearing that track and the release of the album, I became an obsessive fan and bought everything RT-related I could lay my hands on, all in one swift motion. This is still probably my favourite of his albums.
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By Sordel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Aug. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Critics have long valued Richard Thompson as a great songwriter and virtuosic guitarist, but his actual albums have tended to receive a muted reception, meaning that a purple patch of recent albums, including "Mock Tudor" and "The Old Kit Bag", have passed the mainstream by. Now RT has decided to produce his least commercial album in well over a decade ... and people have suddenly started noticing him again. Go figure!
Recorded at his home studio in California, this is an album that sees Thompson stripped down to the essentials: voice and acoustic guitar, with a little percussion and electric guitar for colour. Colour is what is needed as well, because this is intimate, ambitious songwriting, with melodies that meander in the direction of the "art song" and stretch him both as a songwriter and, evidently, as a singer. It's a brave move, but one that misses as frequently as it hits.
Those who like Thompson as a folk singer will enjoy "Old Thames Side" ... those who like him as a rocker may warm to "Let It Grow" ... those who appreciate him as one of Britain's finest songwriters may admire some of the more innovative material. As a whole, however, the album is sombre and demanding, lacking the contrasts of light and dark that have thrown his work into relief on previous albums. New listeners shouldn't start here, and old ones may not want to stay too long.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very short review of a truly great album.
I bought this at Cropredy festival just after it came out last year and my first introduction to some of the tracks was Richard playing them live with Danny Thompson on bass.
I then took the CD back to the campsite and played it on my car stereo until my battery went flat. It was worth the pain of messing about with the car for hours afterwards - that's how good this album is.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album as soon as it came out, as I am a great RT fan. I was a little apprehensive as his previous album Old Kit Bag took a while to get into and is not one of his best. However, I was delighted to see he's back on top form. Every song is a gem, both lyrically and musically
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Format: Audio CD
I have followed RT's musical career for years, and have always been amazed by the stunning musicianship and great lyrics; so this was a big disappointment. Many songs seem to be overstylised and experiments with unusual chord progressions, almost attempting a facsimile of classical chanson, none of which help the lyrics. At other times the melodies have echoes of Brecht and Weill, but without the dramatic context.
Very occasionally I was reminded of Robin Williamson extreme compositions with the Incredible String Band. Not recommended unless strung out on acid, or totally tone deaf!
One or two saving graces, Solitary Life is RT at his best.
Thompson has not the controlled vocal range to tackle the content.
If you are new to his work, don't start with this one! For RT anoraks only.
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