Friday, May 2, 2008
No. 479: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Band: Richard and Linda Thompson
Album: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: More interesting than the band's other album on the list, "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" has a couple of strong songs.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: The album is full of annoying voices, overwhelming folk string instruments and mediocre lyrics.
Best song: The title track isn't terrible. "The Calvary Cross" isn't awful.
Worst song: I hate "We Sing Hallelujah."
Is it awesome?: Nope.
I think I voiced my concerns well as to my feelings about Richard and Linda Thompson. "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" is stronger, if only because the album has some interesting guitar sounds.
The arrangements echo some combination of Neil Young's pacing with Donovan's instrumentation. Mandolin and dulcimer dot the drug/spiritual journey of "When I Get to the Border" while "Down Where the Drunkards Roll" features a strong organ.
More often than not, the combination of Richard Thompson's whine and the eccentric folk instruments don't go together. Notable, "We Sing Hallelujah" features a concertina playing off Richard's voice to a point of whining and annoyance.
I'm generally unhappy with this album and I'm not sure how it ended up here? Sorta religious folk music? Really? Instead of any dub, early ska or Mariah Carey (more on her next week)? Really?