An album about war fought both in the streets and between the sheets, Sweet Warrior takes aim at some of the veteran folk-rocker’s favorite targets: hypocrisy, betrayal, love gone terribly wrong. But the songs here have a topical edge, too. The one that’s sure to get the most buzz, “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me,” (Dad as in Baghdad, that is) weaves together GI slang and post-apocalyptic visuals to create a portrait of wartime Iraq that’s far more terrifying than anything you’ll see on TV. (Or, as Thompson puts it, “It’s someone else’s mess that I didn’t choose / At least we’re winning on the Fox Evening News.”) After some 29 or so albums over a 39-year career, Sweet Warrior still doesn’t sound like the work of an eminence grise; it sounds, in fact, like the work of an artist who’s still quite productively pissed off. From the swaggering rhythms of “I’ll Never Give It Up” to the rollicking Celtic infidelity romp “Johnny’s Far Away,” Thompson pairs his acid pen with some of his most ferociously rocking arrangements in years. Even the slower-tempo songs pack a punch, whether it’s the black-as-night ballad “Guns Are The Tongues,” about the seductions of violence and terror, or the lovely “She Sang Angels to Rest,” with its exquisite string arrangements and achingly expressive vocals. Throughout, Thompson’s guitar work is more explosive than ever, moving from high drama to delicate, rococo beauty without ever overpowering the songs it serves.