Twelve years have passed since RJ Thompson burst onto the scene with “Illogical Life”, a declaration of intent signed with his full name: Richard John Thompson, successively changed to RJ to avoid confusion with the singer from Fairport Convention.
The presence of the authentic songwriter is felt both in this first piece and in his 2011 EP “The Cognitive Rule”, accompanied by his suitcase of interesting stories; this year, his double album “Echo Chamber” has been released, an expansive space releasing the wild horses of an undominated soul – a never-ending search for sounds to mould for his songs.
This is an album with all the trimmings, also available in blue vinyl. It is a collection of the messages RJ left here and there that connect us in an elegant tribute to British pop. That welcoming voice in the title track is a nod to an inspired Phil Collins, fascinatingly surrounded by a painstaking musical arrangement, ever-evolving dynamic rhythms and wonderful taste in riffs and vocal frames that intensify this exciting piece.
Among these many tracks, RJ has squeezed in his own personal hymn to the city of London: a declaration of love and an incitement to courage and pride, a homage to a metropolis which continues to shine bright in its own light despite these inauspicious times.
“Go It Alone” continues the riot of sounds and visions with rock blues and with a little wink of electro-hillibilly in “Speakeasy”, where the Mississippi flows in the background rather than the Thames. “Lie Close To Me” is a struggling slightly sentimental soul, a new-year’s-eve dance number. A couple of covers also find a nook of space: “The Times They are a-Changing”, which feels almost like a throwback to when songs could change the history of the world.
RJ has composed a perfect puzzle in which every single piece represents a part of the timeless production of great music of the last 30 years. We know that there is never enough great music and we thank RJ Thompson for reminding us of it in the most fitting way.