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Thompson, Chris: Toys & Dishes

I remember fondly listening to Manfred Mann's Earth Band back in the day (I still do). It was probably my gateway band into the world of progressive music. They have always been one of my all-time favourite bands. Of course a big part of those early mid '70s records were the lead vocals of Chris Thompson. His warm rich timbre has always made his voice one of the very best in the business. Thompson left the Earth Band in 1979 but returned to the band off and on until 1999. Thompson was also involved with Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds, both in the studio and on the road.

Toys & Dishes is Thompson's first studio album since Won't Lie Down released in 2001. His voice has subtly changed over the years, maybe a bit lower, but not in a bad way. The recognizable voice is still there and that's a good thing for Thompson fans. Songs like "Million $ Wonder Hit", a tongue and cheek rocker about the difficulty of being a musician and the catchy "Millie Christine" are excellent rock tracks while "Eddie Wants to Rock" has a '70s feel with abundant splashes of organ and fiery saxophone play.

"Hey You!" is another rocker while "Dream Away Little Girl" is a pretty acoustic ballad with a lovely vocal arrangement and mournful strains of cello.

The catchy "You're the One I Love" and the heartfelt "Sad Song Wishes" show Thompson's country side while "Woe is Me" ends the album with a slice of acoustic blues.

The album's best cut is "Dark Side" and it is here Thompson channels a bit of the Earth Band with a catchy keyboard melody and his classic vocal tone.

Toys & Dishes is a fine comeback for Thompson and his band sounds as solid as ever. We should all be grateful Thompson is still in the game.

Track Listing:
1. Million $ Wonder Hit
2. Millie Christine
3. Eddie Wants to Rock
4. Dark Side Interlude
5. Dark Side
6. Hey You!
7. Dream Away Little Girl
8. You're the One I love
9. Sad Song Wishes (One Moment)
10. Talk To Me
11. We Run
12. Woe is Me

Added: September 9th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1795
Language: english

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