By Greg Kot
Updated January 26, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

Thompson embraces extravagance on his fifth studio album, with string arrangements embellishing the dark undercurrents in his melodies. He’s a craftsman who echoes the folk rock of his parents (Richard and Linda Thompson) and the melancholy pop of Crowded House. On Bella, he channels Roy Orbison heartbreak, Lou Christie falsetto, and Righteous Brothers drama with stirring results. B+

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