As if the album title weren’t hint enough, the opening line to the opening track off of Teddy Thompson’s latest begins, “Here’s the thing/You don’t love me anymore.” What follows is an album’s worth of heartbreak (as advertised). Sometimes maudlin, sometimes oddly optimistic in the acceptance of the end, Thompson deftly creates an impressively infectious modern day break up record.
In recent press materials, Thompson admits to growing up in a house filled with music from the 1950s, everything from Chuck Berry and The Everly Brothers to Sam Cooke. And that influence can be heard throughout Heartbreaker Please. In fact, it’s hard to believe the second track, “At A Light,” with its subtle country rock piano and sweet melodies wasn’t an Everly Brothers cover. The same could be said for “Record Player.” The opening track, “Why Wait,” even borrows from ‘60s influences, with tight, unforgettable Motown-worthy horns punctuating the dying romance.
A second generation troubadour, the son of Linda and Richard Thompson, Teddy has clearly established his own bona fides over the course of two decades and this record is just more proof. Coming across as a more Americana-leaning version of Jackson Browne or Neil Finn, Thompson has nearly perfected the three-minute sad song on Heartbreaker Please squeezing in enough emotion without belaboring the sentiment. Even on more up-tempo tracks, like “It’s Not Easy” (again with that great horn section), the lyrics are still coated in dejection and pain.
Admittedly the album is not a go-to listen for every mood, but it’s bound to find the right listeners at the right time. Rarely has an album been so aptly titled.