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Linda Thompson, ‘Versatile Heart’ (Rounder)

“Give me a sad song / I’m in a class of my own,” sings the former Mrs. Richard Thompson on her first solo record since 2002’s moving rebirth, Fashionably Late (her first recording in 17 years). And indeed she is. Though she falls victim to a handful of leaden troubadour laments and shows too much reverence for mustily traditional British folk (unless you dig lyrics of the “ey fiddle ah la day” variety), her voice has never sounded better than on the sprightly title track and the instantly classic weeper “Beauty.”

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