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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 10 September 2010
Richard Thompson can do no wrong in my eyes! Sometimes I wonder why I like him so much. On reflection, perhaps it's because he, and his music is different from anything else currently available within 'rock' music. (I use the term 'rock' loosely). He is unrivalled, unique, second to none!! This is simply a wonderful CD from
Richard Thompson. The songs are excellent, each with its own story to tell and the blend of instruments works really well. In addition,not many people would take the risk of recording a 'live' album showcasing all new songs.

Personal favourites are 'Here Comes Geordie', Demons In Her Dancing Shoes', Big Sun Falling In The River','Sidney Wells' (a modern day murder ballad) and 'A Brother Slips Away'. If you are a guitar player just listen to the playing on this CD and be amazed. If you like good music, great lyrics sung clearly and exemplary playing, give yourself a treat and buy Dream Attic right now!
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on 28 August 2010
Dream Attic (Deluxe Edition)
This is a fantastic new album from the legend who is Richard Thompson. Not only do you get the finished live article you also get the so called guitar and vocal demos on the second album which is well worth the money alone. The songs are of his usual high class and the band he is playing with is superb. Overall an excellent purchase of two for the price of one and I can't wait to see him perform these songs live in Glasgow in January 2011.
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on 14 October 2010
I have seen Richard with early Fairports and subsequently solo, with Linda and with various backing combinations and have all of his recordings.He produces a great deal and some of his stuff can be repetitive and morose. However at his best there is no one to beat him.Dream attic benefits from being recorded with a band, Pete Zorn in paticular is outstanding and Richard's guitar playing is some of the best I have heard.This is one of his best albums and and the attack and verve of the live performance is excellent.Now if only he would recruit a female singer.
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on 11 January 2011
Like many albums, and some Richard Thompson albums, I found this took a little getting into, but I am liking it more with each listen. Is it up the standards of the best of his previous work? Other reviewers debate this; too early to say, for me, but I do think this is another very strong album, lyrically and musically, from the always-impressive Mr Thompson.

If you are going to try this, I would seriously recommend going for the 2-disc version. Some of us like our RT shaken, with his Fender Strat + band sound; others prefer it stirred, more gently, by his astonishing acoustic playing; many of us like both, and the deluxe set provides exactly that. The second disc may be officially just demos, but some of the acoustic work is classic Thompson brilliance, and at the moment I prefer this disc to the full band version. Having said that, I am now enjoying the electric versions more, having listened to the acoustic ones for a while. If I was reviewing only the album made with the band, it would just about get four stars, but the double set gets a five from me.
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VINE VOICEon 2 September 2010
Dream Attic marks a stunning return to form for Richard Thompson after the lacklustre Sweet Warrior album.For those new to Richard Thompson it is as as good a place to start as any; for existing fans it may be seen as the summation of his immense talents as a song-writer, singer and performer. All thirteen songs are very strong - full of passion, irony and wit- but the ones the stand out for me so far are Haul Me Up, Crimescene, Big Sun Falling In The River Stumble On,A Brother Slips Away and If Love Whispers Your Name. The strategy of recording the songs live with a band in front of an audience is extremely successful, and seems to have resulted in some of the strongest and committed vocals he has ever laid down, plus some spine-tingling inspired guitar playing.

This edition comes with a bonus disc of acoustic demos which stands out as a fine album in its own right, because the performances are just as good and bring out different aspects of the songs.

Strongly recommended.
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on 3 December 2010
I'm beginning to think that no RT reviews should be written for at least three months after buying. It's common to say that there's usually a dud on one of his issues but how often one's mind has changed after a few listenings. "A Brother Slips Away" was one such dud on the first few listenings. Then it ruins my day, filling me with memories I thought I'd got over. It's also 'a sister slips away' and I wonder how much it was influenced by the loss of Kate McGarrigle.
RT's just curated probably the best 'Meltdown' Festival ever. To do that and produce this CD in the same year.....well if I was a young aspiring musician I'd be seriously thinking about giving up. The bar is just set so ridiculously high by phenomena like Richard Thompson.
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on 18 December 2010
OK, so I'm a long standing RT fan.. forgive me..! I was delighted to read a while back that his new CD was with a full electric band. Recorded live to...! I thought that would likely work well.

And it quite definitely does. It perhaps not 'obviously' live - its not 'Made In Japan'..!! The recording does not suffer at all though, in fact in many ways it works perfectly for the electrified RT.

This is how I like my RT served up - with pleanty of energy & drive. Good songs as always - where does he find the twisted tales he writes, from..? Not a bad track on it - they are all good. I woud stuggle to pick my favourite.

I would thoroughly recommend this CD to RT fans old or new. Buy now. You won't regret it!!
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on 1 September 2010
Richard Thompson just seems to go from strength to strength. Dream Attic was recorded in front of an audience and sonically it one of the best recorded albums I have ever heard. It seems to capture the intimacy of his writing and also the power of his live performances perfectly.

There's a good mix of styles and material and I'm sure there'll be many live favourites from this album.

Highlights for me so far are:
'Crimescene' is a disturbing, but somehow touching, song.
'Sidney Wells' is dark but crafty and amusing - maybe the next 'Vincent Black Lightning'?
'If Love Whispers Your Name' is an absolutle stunning finale. Beautiful lyrics and a classic RT guitar solo.

The guitar vocal demos (CD2) give alternative perspectives on each of the songs and stand up to repeated listening on their own.

I can't wait to see RT on tour in Jan 2011 in the UK.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 September 2010
It's a measure of Richard Thompson's great consistency that his worst album in years is also still pretty good. I wouldn't recommend for a moment that new listeners start here but (as you may have noticed from other reviewers) a lot of die-hard fans are claiming this as another masterpiece. Would that it were so!

It's probably true that there are always weak songs on RT albums, but they tend to be eclipsed by a generous serving of highlights. On Dream Attic, we are promised a completely new set of songs but in full band performances, with everything that means in terms of energy and excitement. In truth, while Thompson opens up on the guitar spots, and Pete Zorn has some great moments on sopranino sax, the songs do not produce the musical peaks you might expect. The rhythm section of Mike Jerome and Taras Prodaniuk (both world class) give a rather mechanical performance here as though constrained by the new material. Joel Zifkin on electric violin inevitably rekindles memories of early Fairport from time to time but no single performer lifts the proceedings above the routine.

This leaves Thompson's normally impeccable songwriting exposed, and this is a weaker set of songs than we are used to. While "Demons in Her Dancing Shoes" and "Sidney Wells" are both welcome additions to a vast and enviable songbook, several of the songs here are at best retreads of past glories, at worst filler.

Although the album overall is unconvincing, oddly enough you'll still be wanting the deluxe edition for the disc of acoustic performances and demos. Depending on what you think of these (and they stand as a complete studio album in their own right) you may be able to push my review score up another star. (Looked at another way: you may want to subtract a star if you buy the vanilla version of this album!)

So, Thompson's discography is still not actually blemished by an dud, but for once his new album isn't much to get excited about.
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on 4 December 2010
I've bought and listened to a lot of RT's output,though not all, going back to those jaw-dropping guitar breaks with the original Fairport.(I was lucky,right place,right time-for once!) Since then I've got used to not being conciously "hooked" by his many recordings after one sitting. This album,then,was no different."Dunno about that.Play it again!" Then I take a break but something rattles around and won't go away. This time it was,at first, Track 2 "Among The Gorst,Among The Grey". This hurts! It is mournfull! It is tragic! Above all It's Real-It Happens! This is a stand out charactaristic of RT's work. Much of it requires effort,"Burning Man"and"Crime Scene" are as dark as they are contemporary, but they totally belong to his chosen genre. This is "Folk Rock" at it's very best."Sidney Wells" sits comfortably here. It's folk and it rocks! The contribution of Joel Zilkin and the other members of this excellent band should not be under-estimated here. There are no bad tracks on this album. "The Money Shuffle", at first, seems lyrically crude, but it reflects perfectly, the reality most of us, unfortunately, suffer. "Haul Me Up","Stumble On","Bad Again" and best of all "Demons In Her Dancing Shoes"(It makes me want to dance!) are reminiscent of past classics (E.g."Cook's Ferry Queen"), and are as urban as the Piccadilly Line. "Here Comes Geordie" works musically. Great Band Again! But if it's the geordie I'm thinking of he ain't worth the mention. "Big Sun Falling...." Richard seems well practised in the lyrics of loosing a love. His pain is beautifully described as it is just as lovingly in "A Brother Slips Away". The loss of someone, a contemporary, close or remote, takes you back. Folk music like The Blues goes to the darkest corners of mankind's soul and,like The Blues, it lifts us, with jigs, reels and words that take us to another place. Which brings us to the final track "If Love Whispers Your Name". Again Richard's lyrics simply describe the emotions we've all experienced.It hurts but it's worth it. Richard Thompson does not do safe and his guitar playing on this track goes right to the edge, and it's an ecstatic place to be! This album definitely benefits by being recorded live. If you get the chance to hear The RT Band live don't miss it. Either way buy this album!
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