Music Review: Guitar takes the lead on Richard Thompson's latest
In this CD cover released by Shout! Factory, the latest released by Richard Thompson, "Dream Attic," is shown. (AP Photo/Shout! Factory)

"Dream Attic" offers killer guitar solos and songs about murder. Same old Richard Thompson, in other words.

Except not quite. Thompson is fabulous as always, and the fretwork rivals his best ever. But even by his one-of-a-kind standards, this is a quirky assortment of songs.

There's a Middle Ages yarn and 1950s rock, Celtic fiddle and Squeeze-style pop. Thompson skewers ego and greed, sings of breakups and finds himself in the domestic doghouse. By the final song, at least six characters are dead.

Latest Video

Thompson and his four-piece backing band recorded the 13 tunes - all new - during a brief tour, and the live setting inspired terrific instrumental work. Pete Zorn's soprano sax emits evil laughter on the Wall Street satire "The Money Shuffle," while Joel Zifkin's violin break during "Stumble On" is a rare beauty. And then there's Thompson, playing in his sixth decade and still expanding his vocabulary of riffs. His solo after the final verse of the gruesome "Sidney Wells" runs 108 marvelous bars, leaving plenty of blood on the track.

Steven Wine, Associated Press

'Dream

Attic'

Richard Thompson

(Shout! Factory)

Recommended for you

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.