W hen Richard Thompson sings, seas part and rocks crumble. His is an authoritative, confident voice, but also a breathlessly young one, unchanged over the years, as this second collection of acoustic versions of his back catalogue proves. There.
This ongoing series of no-nonsense stripped-bare recordings (a third volume is due later in the year) gives Thompson an opportunity to revisit material which, for one reason or another, may not have been firing on all cylinders in its original form. Certainly, his 80s/90s time with Capitol saw some great songs struggle to establish themselves under blankets of glossy production, even if the practice seemed like a good idea at the time. Case in point on Volume Two is Bathsheba Smiles, now a yearning lament with a beating heart as opposed to the FM-fangled slab of lumbering, generic rock first heard on Mock Tudor.