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

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Faust / NWW - Disconnected – 2007 has seen some interesting musical pairings of young and old. First there was Acid Mothers Temple and Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru) and now we have Faust and Steven Stapleton (Nurse with Wound)...  (2008) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues