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Monday, Feb. 6, 2012

Kami Thompson

Love Lies (Warner Music/Naxos)

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Musicians with famous musical parents are usually in for a hard time. Just ask Sean and Julian Lennon, who never emerged from the deep shadows of their father. Kami Thompson, daughter of the estranged king and queen of British folk rock, Richard and Linda Thompson, stands a better chance of making her own way. Her parents, for one thing, attracted a smaller, presumably more discerning audience. And for another, she's brilliant in her own right.

The title of her debut album sums up her lyrical themes. Love Lies largely deals with failed romance from many perspectives, including during and after. Much of it concerns the lies we tell each other and ourselves. Thompson has a striking voice, which holds center stage in the uncluttered production. Some tracks fall near Americana, with spaghetti western via Mark Knopfler-style guitars, melancholy ghost-rider harmonies and stark, simple rhythms, while others touch on the ancient Anglo-Celtic influences of her parents. Her version of George Harrison's “Don't Bother Me” is an evocatively bittersweet swirl of production with an accent on bitter.


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