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Monday, Aug. 16, 2010

Richard Thompson

Dream Attic (Shout! Factory)

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While most rock artists of the 1960s faded to mediocre long ago, Richard Thompson remains vital. A batch of new songs recorded on tour, Dream Attic recapitulates many familiar elements of his sound without succumbing to redundancy. Echoes of West Coast psychedelia ride alongside the Anglo-Celtic folk rock he pioneered with Fairport Convention and rueful ballads share time with country rock shuffles. There is rage in his voice, as well as sadness and a sardonic glee. Many of the best moments come from his short, incandescent guitar solos, yet his band is worth a close listen for their use of flute, saxophone and violin in a subtle, almost prog rock undertow.