Richard Thompson album released in 1996. It follows in the style of many of his more contemporary releases - folky, haunting and lyrically twisted.

Standard stuff, right? Not quite. This album was released as a double set with a few songs making appearances on both discs. Disc one (labelled Nude) is completely accoustic; the other (Voltage Enhanced) is, well, let's call it full-throated. Very electric and not very good apart from the doubles - the electric half is completely flat and is lacking in the emotional depth the accoustic half is drenched in.

It is the two songs that are included on both discs that hold a lot of the interest. They are poster children for how drastically production can change a song's entire meaning. The version of Razor Dance on nude is creepy - listening to it, I feel like I'm being chased down an overgrown forest path. Its companion sounds like a bad 80's dance number or the background to a cheezy buddy movie chase scene.

The second doubled track, Hide Away, lives with the same duality of purpose.

The rest of the songs on the discs range from brilliant to boring and all of the really good stuff is on the Nude disc, although listened to in a row there's a good chance it'd put you to sleep. You really need to be in the mood to listen to it; if you are, it's so good it's enlightening.

Highlights:

  • Sam Jones: a man who collects bones for a living.
  • Train Don't Leave: a guy desperately trying to catch the train his girl's leaving him on. This one's got rock at its heart and is definitely a feelgood track.
  • Cold Kisses: a man rifling through his date's stuff trying to figure out how he measure up to her old lovers
  • Woods of Darney: A soldier steals the wife of a killed compatriate out of jealousy

Track List:

Nude:

  1. Baby Don't Know What to Do with Herself
  2. She Cut Off Her Long Silken Hair
  3. Hide it Away
  4. Burns Supper
  5. Train Don't Leave
  6. Cold Kisses
  7. Sam Jones
  8. Razor Dance
  9. Woods of Darney

Voltage Enhanced:

  1. Razor Dance
  2. She Steers by Lightning
  3. Dark Hand over My Heart
  4. Hide it Away
  5. Put It There Pal
  6. Business on You
  7. No's Not a Word
  8. Am I Wasting My Love on You?
  9. Bank Vault in Heaven
  10. The Ghost of You Walks

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