By Tiffany Razzano
It may have taken British, singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson, who splits his time between England and New York City, six years to come out with his sophomore album, Separate Ways, but it was definitely well worth the wait.
Thompson brings in some heavy hitters on this album, including his buddies Martha and Rufus Wainwright, as well as his famous, folkie father, Richard Thompson.
While Thompson’s self-loathing is obvious, as he portrays himself in a mostly negative light, it happens to make for compelling and honest songwriting. His haunting melodies and gorgeous vocals make a fan of any listener.
Nearly every track on this album stands out. It starts off with “Shine So Bright,” where Thompson facetiously sings about how he wants to live the decadent lifestyle of “a huge star.”
“Everybody Move It” and “I Wish It Was Over” are two, back-to-back, great tracks. “Everybody Moves It” is an alcohol soaked tune, seemingly sung to someone he’s out with for the night, advising them to “have a good time, free [him/her]self and lose [his/her] mind,” as this person “[sits] in the corner…pass[ing] for dead.”
“I Wish It Was Over” portrays Thompson as essentially a bastard boyfriend in a relationship he just doesn’t want. He mistreats the girl, telling her that he “doesn’t even like [her]” and that he “[doesn’t] think [she’s] special … certainly not smart.” As appalling as his behavior is, it’s a beautiful song that draws in the listener with its plaintive vocals and acoustic feel.
“Think Again” is another beautiful track, but this time around Thompson sounds a bit remorseful about – even “ashamed” by – his behavior, admitting, “she was naïve and [he] was a sleaze.” As he asks her to “think again” and “not to give in,” it seems as though he wants her to stand up for herself and leave him.
Six years of abhorrent behavior has given Thompson plenty of fodder for lyrics and has inspired an album full of gorgeous songs.