Linda Thompson (4 stars)

Versatile Heart (Rounder/Universal)

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Linda Thompson

FOLK

Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Martin and Eliza Carthy and a Johnsonless Antony combine to further the leisurely comeback of the wonderful veteran folkie after 2002’s Fashionably Late. But this is not an album overshadowed by its guest stars; arranged with rootsy simplicity and a healthy streak of exotic colour, it is buoyed by the fizz of a younger generation (and a questionable argument for breeding your own band in the excessive contribution of Thompson’s son Teddy). Most youthful of all, though, is Linda’s voice, which manages to be knowing and optimistic, vulnerable but strong, and as compelling as ever.

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