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Monday 1 September 2014

Album review: Teddy Thompson
Bella
(Decca)

Not so Bella Vita

John Meagher

Published 04/02/2011 | 05:00

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Last week, Teddy Thompson played a decidedly uneven set in Dublin and this, his fifth album, is all over the place too.

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All too often his songs stray into middle-of-the-road territory and, although he's blessed with a lovely voice, it's never a good thing when you're reminded of Stereophonics at their least inspired.

As is common with the offspring of famous parents, Thompson is keen to step out of Richard and Linda's lengthy shadows, but you have to wonder what those folk greats would make of a line as lame as this, from hackneyed country rocker Looking for a Girl. "I've been looking for a girl who's good in bed/But knows when to knock it on the head." Unfortunately, Bella is not short of such lyrical clangers. And while there are hooks aplenty, few of the songs have adhesive powers, despite the efforts of sometime Strokes producer David Kahne.

It's a shame because we know Thompson is capable of delivering songs that are every bit as effective as those of his good friend and occasional collaborator Rufus Wainwright (a man who also knows at first hand what it's like to have celebrated parents).

That said, Over and Over comes close, not least when, in a moment of introspection, he reveals: "I shit on myself, so no one else can."

Burn it: The One I Can't Have; Over and Over

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