Album Review: Thompson Square’s ‘Masterpiece’
Thompson Square will release Masterpiece on June 1. Their first album in five years, Masterpiece also marks the couple’s first independent release since departing with their former label, Stoney Creek Records. Shawna and Keifer Thompson had a hand in writing nine of the album’s 11 tracks, as well as served as producers alongside Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift), Dann Huff (Keith Urban) and Ilya Toshinskiy.
Masterpiece marks a triumphant return for the country duo. The album begins with the stand-out title track which Keifer penned by himself for his son, Cooper. While Keifer is featured on lead vocals, his wife, Shawna, assists on harmony throughout the song. “da Vinci’s got his Mona Lisa / And Beethoven’s got his symphonies / But you’re my masterpiece,” Thompson Square sing on the song’s chorus alongside soaring musical accompaniment. A heartfelt ballad for their first child, “Masterpiece” strikes a chord.
“Up In Smoke” follows suit with ear-grabbing guitar, delicate piano and Shawna and Keifer’s spot-on harmonies. The tale of two exes who can’t seem to forget about each other, “Up In Smoke” highlights the duo’s rock side. In fact, throughout Masterpiece, Thompson Square’s diverse musical influences are showcased. The duo blend country, rock and even reggae for a versatile and memorable release. On “Good Day” the duo transport listeners to the islands with a laid-back vibe that would make Bob Marley proud. Meanwhile, on the tongue-in-cheek “Stupid Girls Stupid Boys,” Thompson Square poke fun at their significant other’s exes.
“Shout out to the stupid girls, baby / Screw must have come loose kind of crazies / I don’t mean to be mean / But I don’t think they knew what they were losing / Every time I’m lookin’ at you I can’t believe / There was somebody who had you and gave you back,” Thompson Square sing on the chorus of “Stupid Girls Stupid Boys.”
Thompson Square are well known for their love songs and the “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” singers don’t stray from the romance on Masterpiece. Songs like the catchy “Millionaires” and the sultry “Let’s Do Something Stupid” keep the romance alive while highlighting each singer’s vocal power. Later, on “A Love Like This,” Thompson Square merge rock instrumentation with country storytelling as they discuss how “a love like this only comes around every once in a lifetime.”
Masterpiece closes with the poignant “Breakers.” A song that tugs on the heartstrings, on “Breakers” Thompson Square sing of how often it’s the people we love the most that hurt us the deepest. Shawna’s ethereal vocals supported by slowed piano accompaniment further heighten the song’s powerful lyrics. “You’re supposed to love me / Oh, but I can’t make you / And I’m getting tired of giving all I’ve got to a taker / Some people are fixers / But some people are breakers,” Shawna sings.
Thompson Square have said that they hope “Breakers” serves as a “massive exclamation mark at the end of the record.” A deeply personal and emotional song, it does just that. In fact, their entire album spans a multitude of emotions and genres that keeps the listener intrigued. A work of art in itself, Thompson Square’s third album Masterpiece proves a welcomed return from the duo.