.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/fea845be428c181128b7508c0af3005714c925fd.jpg Mirror Blue

Richard Thompson

Mirror Blue

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
August 1, 1997

Richard Thompson's superb new album, Mirror Blue, boasts no bold forays or shocking twists, only the same fervid but stringently unsentimental writing and musicianship that has always distinguished this seminal folk rocker's best work.

Like Rumor and Sigh (1991), Blue sounds contemporary without self-consciously striving to be hip. Fitting warm Celtic textures into taut arrangements, Thompson and producer Mitchell Froom avoid quaintness even on tender ballads like "King of Bohemia" and jiglike numbers such as the cheeky "Fast Food," on which the singer offers Burger King employees pearls of wisdom like "Water down the ketchup, easier to pour on/Pictures on the register in case you're a moron." "MGB-GT," possibly the first fiddle-driven ode to a car, is equally lighthearted, as is "Shane and Dixie," a spirited ditty about a couple of Bonnie and Clyde wanna-be's.

As usual, though, Thompson is at his most affecting when in a pensive, rueful mode. On a gorgeous folk ballad called "Beeswing," he recalls a youthful fling with a woman "so fine a breath of air would blow her away." On the sensuous "Mingus Eyes," he admits, "Never had the squint of James Dean/Or the Stanislavsky tears" — although the typically sublime guitar work with which Thompson accompanies this lament, knotty and darkly passionate, rivals either of those assets. But Thompson saves the most devastating track for last. "Taking My Business Elsewhere" is an evocative account of a heartbroken man who waits at a bar for a lover who never arrives. "I'll never get over/The sheer surprise of her," he sings. Richard Thompson himself offers no real surprises on Mirror Blue, but it's a haunting, enduring effort nonetheless.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Madame George”

    Van Morrison | 1968

    One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com