February 21, 2015

Richard & Linda Thompson - Pour Down Like Silver (1975)

Pour Down Like Silver is easily the best of the four middle albums in Richard & Linda's discography, and in my opinion it's their best work overall, even trumping the highly regarded bookends of the partnership, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight and Shoot Out The Lights.

Pour Down Like Silver was recorded in the peak of the couple's experience with Sufism. Their Shiekh forbade Richard to play electric guitar, but he went ahead playing anyway, making up for his sacrilege by spiritually reorienting his music. The album starts off with a slightly different, but familiar British folk rock feel. By the time the album gets to The Poor Boy Is Taken Away, a song about Nick Drake if I must say so, you'll hear that Pour Down Like Silver is evolving into something else and the Thompsons' songwriting is taking on a different form. After this track comes the dreamy, mystical, and more-poetic-than-usual-English-folk Beat The Retreat, Night Comes In, Dimming of the Day, and Dargai.

The couple's awareness of melody is taken to another level on Pour Down Like Silver, especially heard on the quicker paced tracks. While the songs aren't about heartbreak and emotional torture, the lyricism still has a transcendental melancholiness about it. The mixing is exceptional as well and outside arrangements don't kill the spirit of the album. Pour Down Like Silver is an essential folk album in my opinion for its focus, dreamy atmosphere, and also for being the best vocal performance of Linda's career.

Pour Down Like Silver