I’ve been waiting a long time for folk music to make a comeback, without really knowing exactly what that would sound like if it did indeed happen. Certainly the protest music of an earlier era would seem a bit dated by now, and I’m not sure if the “folk rock” of Eagles ever really qualified for that sentiment or not. The most direct path of evolution is probably through the singer-songwriter era of the early 70’s which somehow morphed into the “
Enter Kami Thompson, daughter of Richard and Linda, brother of Teddy, and proud owner of a new album called “Love Lies.” It rocks. And it speaks. And it cries for forgiveness. This is the first album I’ve heard in a while in which the lyrics are truly primary and essential. And the music’s good, too. After some false starts and a reluctance to join the “family business,” Kami seems to have hit her stride with this album. I’m not sure why she’s publicizing it through world music channels, but that’s an interesting approach. Maybe she doesn’t want to follow bro Teddy’s lead. But in general the album follows a solid mid-tempo folk-rock beat in which the lyrics predominate, usually love found and love lost.
Thompson establishes this pattern from the get-go with “Little Boy Blue”: “Little boy blue I miss you…singing songs in my head…thinking of you, all the time thinking of you,” thus establishing a theme she’ll return to again and again throughout the album. So it continues with “4,000 Miles:” There’s no need to say good-bye, because there’s nothing left between us…but 4000 miles.” Then comes what’s maybe the best song on the album IMHO: “Nice Cars:” “Ladies shouldn’t drive nice cars … they’re only gonna break our hearts.” I’m not sure exactly what Kami’s getting at in this song, and that’s just intriguing enough to make me want to know more … but that’s not why I like the song, not the only reason anyway. I like it because I can’t get it out of my head, the “stickiness” factor, the ability to internalize a song and make it my own. I think that’s what Kami and/or her handlers intended for the next song—if the batting-order theory of song-on-album placement holds true. That’s “Gotta Hold On”—“I wanta get dressed up wanna get pissed up, goin out tonight…You won’t understand…Gotta hold on to what you got, even if you don’t got a lot…even if it ain’t enough.” It’s a good song to be sure, but the refrain’s hooks seem almost too forced and cliché to be effective for me. I stand by my earlier opinion.
This album is the real deal, rock roots and pop hooks to express a true folkie’s heart, something you couldn’t pay a Tin Pan Alley or any