Rumor & Sigh Listening to an entire album of pop songs by former Fairport Convention guitarist Richard Thompson is a lot like dining with Einstein — a profound… Rumor & Sigh Listening to an entire album of pop songs by former Fairport Convention guitarist Richard Thompson is a lot like dining with Einstein — a profound… Richard Thompson Rock
Music Review

Rumor & Sigh (1991)

EW's GRADE
A

Details Lead Performance: Richard Thompson; Genre: Rock

Listening to an entire album of pop songs by former Fairport Convention guitarist Richard Thompson is a lot like dining with Einstein — a profound but unsettling experience. For instance, on Rumor & Sigh such songs as the witty and wry ''Read About Love,'' ''Backlash Love Affair,'' and ''Feel So Good,'' though unbelievably catchy, all have a strong undercurrent of irony, while a few others — ''Mother Knows Best'' and the cabaret number ''Psycho Street'' — are silly on the surface and downright bitter underneath. On the lovely ''1952 Vincent Black Lightning,'' Thompson acknowledges his roots as one of Britain's premier folk-rock revivalists with a shimmering play of acoustic folk guitar, while on ''God Loves a Drunk'' and ''Why Must I Plead'' he solidifies his reputation as a songwriter who is unafraid to tackle sheer sadness as his subject matter. In short, Rumor & Sigh is musically diverse, emotionally moving, lyrically intelligent, and intimidatingly grown-up — four things that are each rare enough in rock & roll as to be positively disturbing when found in a single package. A

Originally posted May 24, 1991 Published in issue #67 May 24, 1991 Order article reprints