Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New: Hope You Like the New Me

Richard Thompson: Hope You Like the New Me


Richard Thompson can be downright creepy at times. Hope You like the New Me gives another meaning to the term “identity theft” Thompson imagines a narrator who takes everything he admires in a perceived rival, and steals it. The musical setting for this is disturbingly simple, as if Thompson is saying, “see how easy that was!” It’s mostly an acoustic guitar, playing a repeating pattern that changes only by getting louder and then softer. There is a subtle bass part, and a cello joins in for emphasis, and that’s about it. Nevertheless, the tension in the song builds to a climax, and then pulls back a bit, but there is never a release. Thompson’s vocal performance is suitably menacing. This is the kind of song that shows why Richard Thompson is so admired by his fellow musicians. The elements of the song are sparse, but Thompson knows that he has all that he needs, and he makes every bit of it count.

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