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Part Texan, part Coloradan, Marty Thompson is a singer-songwriter inspired by the likes of Neil Young and Thin Lizzy, and his sophomore album Romantic Stories captures the distorted wall of fuzz from both of these acts while elevating Thompson’s own narrative-based style of lyricism. The songs from the album were all written on his daughter’s pink ukulele while the family was backpacking the Bavarian Alps. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the ukulele itself doesn’t make an appearance on Romantic Stories, but the spirit of the trip and the essence of Thompson’s memories imbue the songs with a wonderful sense of liveliness.
From the soulfulness of “Devil’s Bridge” to “Wünderweg,” which colorfuly paints details from his time spent travelling, the songs at their core share a central theme. Although many songs appear lighthearted or frivolous in nature, Thompson is really speaking allegorically of the troubles of the world in his own somewhat carefree way. In essence, a track like “Face of God We Climb” may not linger long enough to really get a complete grasp of the issue the artist is dealing with, but the album adds up to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Ultimately, Romantic Stories is richer and far more fulfilling than a mere travelogue.
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