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Up Front and Down Low [CD]

Teddy ThompsonAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2007 $4.99  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: July 24, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Verve Forecast
  • ASIN: B000QXDCI8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,089 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Change Of Heart
2. Touching Home
3. Walking the Floor Over You
4. From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers
5. I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone
6. My Heart Echoes
7. The Worst Is Yet to Come
8. My Blue Tears
9. Down Low
10. You Finally Said Something Good (When You Said Goodbye)
11. She Thinks I Still Care
12. Let's Think About Living
13. Don't Ask Me To Be Friends

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Following up from his first two albums Teddy Thompson and Separate Ways showcased his formidable songwriting skills, Up Front & Down Low focuses on Thompson's abilities as an interpreter of outside material. The collection finds him delivering personalized reworkings of a memorable assortment of songs drawn from America's rich country music tradition, all delivered with a level of commitment and musical imagination that consistently cuts to the emotional heart of the material. Six tracks feature distinctive string arrangements by legendary English arranger Robert Kirby, renowned for his groundbreaking work with Nick Drake, while "My Blue Tears" features strings arranged by frequent Thompson cohort Rufus Wainwright. Throughout Up Front & Down Low, the songs are supported by artful, evocative arrangements that often diverge from the material's original country milieu.

Yes, Teddy Thompson's parents are renowned folkies Richard and Linda Thompson. And, sure, he's spent the past few years touring the world with his good friend Rufus Wainwright, who recently wrote a song about their inimitable relationship called "Nobody's off the Hook." But it's Thompson's rich, twangy voice that deserves the spotlight. After turning out two thoroughly underappreciated albums of original material--it would be pushing it to even call them cult favorites--the lovelorn singer-songwriter takes on a dozen classic country tunes on Up Front and Down Low. It's a good fit, the bitter sentiments the inform his own work paired with the sterling melodies of Ernest Tubb's "Walking the Floor Over You" and Elvis Presley's "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone." Thompson gives each of the tunes a masterful makeover, polishing them up with an all-star cast of players that includes Iris DeMent, Tift Merritt, and Marc Ribot. Wainwright offers string his own "Down Low" into the mix without breaking the mood. It's the kind of stuff that could represent a breakthrough moment, as long as nobody gets distracted by the fact that he was born and raised in a Sufi commune. --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's too cool for the room (so join the cult) July 18, 2007
Format:Audio CD
When last I considered Teddy Thomp'son, he was building his cult. A very elite cult, because 'Separate Ways seemed to be so special that you could say, well, a lot of people just didn't have ears good enough for it.

Except it wasn't "special." And it wasn't "too good." It was great writing and great music and a remarkable voice, start to finish, without a single dud. I don't know why only a few of my nearest and dearest flipped for it. Maybe because it was depressing, in a wonderfully funny way.

Like this line: "I wish when the phone rang/it wasn't always you."

Not exactly a universal sentiment, is it?

So let's call Teddy Thompson an acquired taste --- until the day one of his songs becomes an unlikely hit and tens of thousands rush back to fall in love with all the great music they so breezily rejected.

And what of the follow-up to "Separate Ways"?

It's no follow-up at all. "Upfront & Down Low" is country. Classic country, if you will: songs by George Jones, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, the Everly Brothers, Elvis. Thompson uses a standard backup band, but he adds a string section, courtesy of the arranger responsible for the strings on Nick Drake's CDs.

Sounds like a vanity project? Not in the least. Teddy Thompson --- who didn't hear music that wasn't country until he was 16 --- understands this music completely. And delivers it authentically. But that understates. What happens in "Upfront & Down low" is captured magic, the alchemy of great taste and a compelling voice.

I went to see Teddy Thompson preview this CD in a downtown club. It was one of those rare nights: a small room, no more than a hundred people in the audience, all of them very much on the singer's side.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absurdly great October 26, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I bought this after hearing it in one of Amazon's brick-and-mortar competitors. I didn't know who Teddy Thompson was when I heard it. I only knew that it sounded incredible.

I was born in 1957 on a cotton farm. My parents were sharecroppers. Hank Williams and Ray Charles were the soundtrack of my childhood.

It is amazing to me that this young Brit has released a CD that my mother would have loved (had she lived to hear it). Thompson has chosen great songs, and he has a great voice. He doesn't sound like someone trying to sound "southern"--but he sounds reasonably "southern." His voice is rich and resonant, and he does not have to resort to tricks: no melisma, no shouting, no growling. The arrangements are tasteful: everything is done well, and nothing is overdone.

I have been listening to this CD for a couple of months. It keeps getting better. I urge you to try it. If you're a fan of good country music (Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe), I think that you'll be impressed. If you're not already a fan of country, I think that this CD will open a door to a wonderful world.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teddy Thompson's Torch & Twang July 24, 2007
Format:Audio CD
One usually doesn't think of men as being classic torch singers, but with UP FRONT AND DOWN LOW, New York-based young Brit singer/songwritier Teddy Thompson makes a stunning claim to that style of heart-achey pop music. Backed with tasteful arrangements on classic country tunes and his one original, Thompson unleashes his clear, plaintive and often soaring tenor to astonishing effect - particularly on "Walking the Floor Over You", "My Heart Echoes", "She Thinks I Still Care", Dolly Partron's "My Blue Tears" and his own "Down Low". Thompson delivers terrific phrasing on all tracks, especially putting over the wonderfully sarcastic edge of "You Finally Said Something Good (When You Said Goodbye)", which opens with a jaunty string quartet cakewalk. That number and the witty "Let's Think About Living" are the most upbeat among the album's 12 listed and one hidden track, a sweet and mournful "Don't Ask Me to Be Friends". Listeners who enjoyed Thompson's contributions to the BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN soundtrack will be delighted to find that UP FRONT AND DOWN LOW continues his forary into classic country & western music and delivers one of 2007's best sung albums in the process. No doubt about it - Teddy Thompson is absolute torch and twang. Look out, k.d....
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a non-country fan... July 18, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I guess this is technically a country album, but he brings a very folk/alt vibe to these songs. The result is just beautiful. Really, from start to finish. The emotion carried in his voice is so very moving. Just so soulful and touching.
If country isn't your "thing" I still say there is a place in any alt-rock collection for this CD. Perfect for a night of missing that certain someone. Perfect for a night of drowning your sorrows. Perfect for that long trip you didn't want to make in the first place. Ah, it's just perfect.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Magical September 2, 2007
By Hugo
Format:Audio CD
TEDDY THOMPSON can sing whatever he pleases - I'm all ears for his big beautiful, expressive voice! Teddy is a genuine rarity and one of the finest singers to come along in quite some time. A haunting vocalist you yearn to hear more and more of. Universally appealing singer's singer and musician's musician. His rich vocal range soars magnificently from gorgeous baritone lows to compelling tenor highs. Like that melodic lonely howl of a wolf in the moonlit darkness of night, Thompson's singing stirs, haunts your ears and soul with his well chosen material and original compositions...he leaves you yearning for more. Unforgettable. Linda & Richard blessed us with an angel to sing for us here on Earth. His music surpasses even their finest moments on wax-vinyl-plastic; etc. I've got all three official Teddy Thompson cd-albums, and I highly recommend each one. He moves effortlessly from folk to rock to country, everything in between and beyond with his soulful singing voice. Teddy Thompson deserves to be a superstar.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Songs not as good as expected.
Published 3 months ago by Rosemarie Rinda
5.0 out of 5 stars I said I love it, now stop asking me to waste time typing for your...
I said I love it, now stop asking me to waste time typing for your benefit, thank you very much.
Published 7 months ago by Larry Flint
5.0 out of 5 stars uniquely exeptional or exeptionally unique?
This is both exeptional and unique on all levels. The delivery is stunning. The interpretation of classics is on a league of its own. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ioannis Loulis
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I first saw and heard Teddy on a film of a concert in Sydney (I think) of Leonard Cohen's music, he sang only one song but it was beautiful and mesmerising. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Peter Stolz
5.0 out of 5 stars Sing Teddy!
Teddy's voice just resonates off this album! This voice just fills the entire house and is so clear and strong that it feels like it pierces right through me, the walls, up the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Riveted
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great CD by Teddy Thompson
Teddy Thompson's style of singing country music is wonderful! Brings back the style of the original country and western sound!
Published 19 months ago by Elizabeth M Migliore
3.0 out of 5 stars Teddy does Country
I enjoyed the first two Teddy Thompson albums very much, and was very impressed with his vocals. He was the sort of soothing, melodic voice that wraps itself around every song he... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Donald E. Gilliland
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I like his newer stuff much better. This was too country for me. His newer music is more pop country.
Published 22 months ago by buddyw
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Teddy , LEAVE THE COUNTRY ALONE
Ok, I like the voice, call it " country Chris Issak/Marshall Crenshaw" on this cd,BUT every one of these songs is better done by other artists!! Read more
Published on February 27, 2011 by Doug
5.0 out of 5 stars No weak points and no filler here
Teddy Thompson is more of a pop singer than a country singer, but these songs are classics, and beautifully written. Read more
Published on December 8, 2010 by Shinjuku Lad
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