Sunday, February 19, 2012

Favourite Albums of 2011 #7: "1000 Years of Popular Music"

Richard Thompson
1000 Years of Popular Music [live] [2006]

This is the one where Richard Thompson plays a selection of popular tunes from the last thousand years (somewhat biased towards the music of the 20th century). To the extent that this project is famous outside the circles of obsessive Richard Thompson fans, it may be because it features the beret-wearing troubadour singing the Britney Spears classic 'Oops, I did it again'. With that song he foregrounds the creepy manipulation of the lyrics, making it sound like one of his own cynical and miserable love songs. And being sung by an old cynic you do get a sense of how disturbing these lines are when sung by a supposedly naïve teenage girl. The other standout track here is probably 'Bonnie St. Johnstone', a grim folk tune with lyrics about lonely childbirth and infanticide, or the jaunty 'So Ben Mi Ca Bon Tempo', which is in some kind of mediaeval French and so could be about anything.

An inuit panda production

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