Richard Thompson Sweet Warrior

Richard Thompson Sweet Warrior
The ever-prolific Thompson never seems at a loss when it comes to rallying against the vulgarity and hypocrisy he sees around him, and this latest broadside is another standout in the string of high-quality releases dating back to 2001’s Mock Tudor. In fact, the sheer weight of Thompson’s catalogue, which began in the late ’60s with Fairport Convention, always makes it a daunting prospect to fully digest a new album upon first listen. Still, his equally potent writing and lead guitar chops are clearly in top form on opener "Needle And Thread,” followed a little later by one of his better ballads, "Take Care The Road You Choose.” But as the album’s title (borrowed from an Edmund Spenser poem) suggests, Thompson has war on his mind. In the past, the subject has often inspired some of his best work and on "Dad’s Gonna Kill Me,” he puts himself in an Iraqi soldier’s boots and doesn’t hold back: "It’s someone else’s mess that I didn’t choose/At least we’re winning on the Fox Evening News.” Thompson takes a much more sombre position immediately after with "Poppy-Red” but on the epic "Guns Are The Tongues,” he goes further into the nature of how some can be manipulated into carrying out unimaginable brutality. Sweet Warrior is tough stuff but Thompson fans wouldn’t expect anything less. Long may he rage. (Shout! Factory)