Exposé Online banner

Richard Palmer-James — Takeaway
(PP006CD, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-02-06

Takeaway Cover art

Taking a break from all the noise and avant-isms that have crossed my desk recently, I find this very nice release from Richard Palmer-James. This songwriter is best known to fans of progressive rock for his work as a lyricist who contributed to some of King Crimson’s classic 70s albums (Larks’ Tongues through Red), though his status as one of the founding members of Supertramp is more relevant to this effort. Those expecting anything musically progressive might be disappointed, but if you’re looking for good, solid songwriting in a variety of rock styles, Palmer-James provides ample evidence that he’s the real deal. If I had to pick a reference from an artist familiar (perhaps) to prog fans, it would be Peter Blegvad’s 80s solo work, like The Naked Shakespeare and Knights Like This. Not only is there a similarity in vocal tone, but the songs are similarly smart and wordy. I’m also reminded a bit of T-Bone Burnett. On the instrumental side, the base is a slightly bluesy folk-rock style, with a nice balance between acoustic and electric instruments; acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and mandolin rub shoulders with drums and electric bass. Palmer-James has a wonderfully engaging voice with a gentle vibrato and crisp enunciation that doesn’t seem fussy. Takeaway is a totally honest, classy, unpretentious album without a single misstep. In the ranks of male singer-songwriters I admire (John Hiatt, Paul Kelly, Richard Thompson, and a handful more), Richard Palmer-James may yet find a place, though his small output as a solo artist (this is his first actual solo album in a career that stretches back to 1970) leaves him with a lot of catching up to do. This release is a solid step in that direction, and proof that there’s still room for good music in some of the old forms.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Richard Palmer-James

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jade Warrior - Distant Echoes – For the uninitiated, Jade Warrior's recorded history began around 1970 as a three-piece, integrating east Asian themes, introspective jazz-rock ideas, some elements of folk, and a lot more into a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues