Monday, September 13, 2010
Thompson's songwriting is very strong on this live recording of all-new compositions. He sounds confidant, focused and has conducted the band with verve allowing the musicians to add colours to each and every song. Dream Attic, which was recorded live at various venues in the United States, opens with “Money Shuffle” an uptempo number that takes shots at bank executives who “can’t find your money if you want to … I’ll save my arse and skip the country.” While Thompson feels the strong need to comment on the econonic downturn, this song is immediately followed by the beautifully optimistic Celtic ballad, “Among the Gorse, Among the Grey.” Gorse is a flowering tree that grows in Scotland. It symbolizes growth, vitality, vibrancy, light and intelligence. The gospel-country song “Haul Me Up” tries to gather all those energetic forces with an overabundance of spiritual help but it doesn’t seem to be working: “Haul Me Up, the furies are screaming/I’m kicking so hard that I’m still falling.”
Dream Attic features a complement of Celtic ballads, love songs ("Stumble On," "If Love Whispers Your Name") and character studies ("Sidney Wells") and it's the strongest record Thompson has put out in recent years. Dream Attic is full of the subtle humour and great guitar-licks for which he has become widely known. Now in his 61st year, Thompson also sounds better than ever. But it’s too bad that this live recording doesn’t feature any of his clever introductions. Perhaps he thought they would take some of the edge off this set of new songs. The band hits the road in the United States and Europe with concerts scheduled for October and November. Judging by the results of Dream Attic, those dates should be a dream indeed.