"Another Small Thing in Her Favour" is a lovely song about breaking up with not a little rancor. As the title makes clear, the narrator will give the woman some credit, but only grudgingly. When Thompson isn’t working in peak form, this recurring theme can become tiresome. But this time around, working with producer Buddy Miller, who mostly favors spare settings for Thompson’s guitar and voice, the new songs have a crisp clarity that wrings out most of the self-righteousness. Two songs stand out in particular. The first is "Stony Ground," in which the 63-year-old Thompson imagines a codger older than himself, still feeling goatish and erotically greedy, and still getting poked in the nose for his urges. The result is what might happen if Philip Roth wrote the lyrics for a song with roots in British folk music.
Image by Pamela Littky courtesy of New West Records