Peter Frampton

Thank You Mr. Churchill

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Peter Frampton releases records so rarely that he’s almost forced to plainly admit their themes in the titles: 2003’s Now dealt with the present while its 2010 successor, Thank You Mr. Churchill, casts an eye toward the past, Frampton piecing together his history from WWII to modern times. Fittingly for a concept album so ambitious, Frampton has wound up with a heavy progressive rock record, roiling with dense riffs, segmented songs, and winding blues jams. Happily, he hasn't ignored his previous life as either a Tamla/Motown devotee or pop star, cutting the introspection and ambition with a handful of lighter moments -- such as the unashamed arena rocker “I’m Due a You,” the irrepressible bounce of “Invisible Man” (which does indeed feature members of the Funk Brothers), and even the circular acoustic guitar of “Restraint” -- that give the album levity while broadening its palette, helping to push Thank You Mr. Churchill to one of Frampton’s richest records and unexpectedly one of his best.

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