Teddy Thompson

Separate Ways (Verve Forecast)

SXSW Records

Teddy Thompson

Separate Ways (Verve Forecast)

Eschewing any notion of a sophomore slump, British singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson delivers in a big way on his second effort. Separate Ways finds this son of UK folk rock royalty Richard and Linda Thompson with an emotionally compelling collection of original songs that attests to his growing maturity as both songwriter and performer. There's a strong undercurrent of melancholy flowing through his songs, a commonality that binds the set whether it's cloaked in the radio-friendly veneer of "I Should Get Up" and "Altered State" or in the measured title track and the obviously pained "Sorry to See Me Go." That's not to say that he's bereft of a wry, back-handed humor as on "Altered State." Other famous-parent offspring, Rufus and Martha Wainwright and Jenni Muldaur, lend some vocal depth to a few tracks, while the distinctive guitar tones of Thompson's father are heard on a handful of songs, most prominently "That's Enough Out of You." He also appears in a duet with his mother on the Everly Brothers' "Take a Message to Mary," a hidden bonus track that ends the album. It's a family affair, but as the album title suggests, Teddy Thompson is his own man going his separate way. (Friday, March 17, 10pm @ Eternal)

***.5

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