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Talking With the Taxman About Poetry

Billy Bragg

1986

Wikipedia

Talking With the Taxman About Poetry

Rating

2.95

Votes

3241

Reviews

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4

This man can write a politically/romantically charged tune, no doubting. Top record!

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4

This record has some special alchemy. Between Billy Bragg's passionate street poet lyrics about romance and politics and the sparse, but purposeful arrangements, I was captivated throughout. With lines like, "Woops there goes another year/Woops there goes another pint of beer" how could you not be charmed? Not to mention the tasteful Johnny Marr and Kristy McColl features on "Greetings to the New Brunette". I feel like his message--equal parts cynicism and collectivism--is as relevant as ever in 2021. Really appreciated this opportunity to get to know Billy Bragg a little further than his Mermaid Avenue collaboration with Wilco. Favourite tracks: "Greetings to the New Brunette", "Levi Stubbs' Tears", "There is Power in a Union" and "Help Save the Youth of America"

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4

Can't think of a finer example of a person who carries on in the spirit of Woody Guthrie. He does so with the appropriate modern flair so as not to sound like a retro/nostalgia act. The fact that he is very politically active and backs his words in that way is a rare and admirable quality in a modern musician.

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5

NEEEEEWWWW WWWWAAAAVE. I like his ridiculous accent. I like how loose and shambolic this album feels

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5

Our greatest ever lyricist. Genius. His first 4 albums are all sensational. With some rare artists you can remember exactly where you were when you first heard them and Billy Bragg is one of those. But Train Train is an aberration - it must have been included on the album by mistake!

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4

“Talking with the Taxman about Poetry” by Billy Bragg (1986) Stylistically, this is the closest thing to Dylanesque that I’ve ever heard coming out of England. Not in the same league, but headed in that direction. Some very good art on this album. I would have bought this album, but iTunes jacked the price by adding a bunch of bonus crap. Not playing that game. Now, Billy Bragg simply can’t sing. And musically, there’s little to compensate for this weakness. His vocal flubs alternate between distractingly irritating and irritatingly distracting. He needs a little backup. Lyrics, however, are very well crafted, with some true flashes of brilliance. And, there are some seriously engaging musical arrangements in his love songs. But sadly, when he gets into politics (“Ideology”, “Power in a Union”, Help Save the Youth of America”), his verse becomes clunky, shallow, and preachy, with canned melodies and chord structures pulled out of the vertical file marked “Recycle Bin”. And by the way, Mr. Bragg (“Help Save the Youth of America”), we’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We don’t need the British telling us how to do our politics. The “Youth of America” can hold their fire until they see the whites of British eyes. But the next time you need to invade Normandy, give us a call. 4/5

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4

It's great that he's not afraid to be relentlessly political and socially conscious. "Idealogy" is a song still relevant, especially the day after the US anaugaration. "Levi Stubbs Tears " is a classic. Billy's voice can wear on you after a while and the production is sparce, I prefer the piano arrangements to the guitar whcih I find harsh at times. Thoughtfully crafted lyrics. It would be nice if some of these got covered (as Dylan's have)

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4

I put Greetings to the New Brunette on an infinite number of mix tapes, and if I were still attempting to woo women with mix tapes I would be putting There is Power in a Union on there. I generally enjoy Billy Bragg, yet his records are not typically ones I reach for often. This was very pleasant to revisit, but I completely undrstand why some find it off putting. 3.5*

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4

Great songwriting and I love the minimal guitar tones; usually clean with a tad bit of chorus. Regional melody influences give a real sense of "folk". May have to add this to the rotation.

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4

It’s like the La’s meets the Clash, with a little Neil Young for ‘flavour’. I kinda dig it. It’s the accent throwing me off. Like it’s just country/folk, but I typically imagine those genres as Americana. But this guy is CLEARLY from Essex, and it sounds weirdly dissonant. Whether that’s fair or not, I dunno, “It’s just how I feel”, as Mike Birbiglia might say. But it’s not bad, not at all. Songs are melodic and would sound amazing sung drunkenly in a large crowd pissed on pints.

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1

I’m sure I’ll be shown to brag gibly, but this was a tough listen. Can respect the messages, but what a slog

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1

The voice ground me down to a fine, lubricant grade powder

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5

I have never listened to Billy Brag before, but I am digging this. I am adding a couple of these tunes to my regular rotation

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5

yoooooo. so good.

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5

Great, great album.

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5

great album - big fan of Billy Bragg

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5

This was incredible. A real gem I didn’t know about.

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5

Such a blast from the past.

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5

good english singer/songwriter. activist and romantic to a point. really enjoyed and could see myself being inspired by.

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5

I have no idea what to expect from the album title and cover. “Greetings to the New Brunette” was a nice first Billy Bragg song for me to hear. I quite liked this sweet and thoughtful love song, with its lovely guitar and backup vocals. I’m a sucker for a good train song “Train Train” had me sold when I heard the opening fiddle-whistle. I like where this album is heading. “The Marriage” opens with a nice trumpet fanfare and I’d be totally into having this play at my wedding! I love the lyrics. “Ideology” is a quite an indictment of the British Parliament. Some interesting lyrics here. I was surprised to see Bob Dylan as cowriter of this song, so I looked it up and learned Billy Bragg intentionally borrowed the melody from a Bob Dylan song. “Levi Stubbs’ Tears” tells quite a story with some pretty darn clever lyrics. It’s a pretty stripped down song (as are a lot of the songs), but very interesting to listen to. The piano is great in “Honey, I’m a Big Boy Now”. Almost expect to hear this in a saloon. It tells the story of a failed marriage from the perspective of a deserted husband. I liked this song. “There is Power in a Union” is apparently an old union song with new Billy Bragg lyrics. A good old fashioned protest song that I enjoyed. “Help Save the Youth of America” is a catchy cautionary song about the United States. Pretty impressive song that is as relevant today as in 1986. I could relate well to this song. I loved “Wishing the Days Away” as it examines the futility of a man’s life who is always wishing for a new day. Really compelling. Billy Bragg exercises his impressive storytelling skills in “The Passion” that considers the life of a pregnant girl and her trials. I love the more complex musical arrangement of “The Warmest Room.” It tells a great story of a young man in love/lust. One of my favorite songs on the album. “The Home Front” wraps up the original album on a very insightful note with a detailed look at a home life in Britain. Such great visuals and observations and critiques in this song. Another great Billy Bragg tune with the fanfare trumpets returning again. There are ten additional songs on the 2006 re-release. The songs are an interesting addition and I enjoyed them although I think I will not necessarily listen to them every time I revisit this album. Some pretty interesting things there including remakes of Woody Guthrie’s “Deportees” and Smokey Robinson’s “The Tracks of My Tears” (that was a surprise for sure). I really enjoyed this album. It’s got plenty of sharp lyrical observations wrapped in a really interesting package of music.

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5

Everything about this is wonderful, from the title and the cover to his voice and his powerful lyrics. Half the songs have a practical, everyday romanticism to them and the other half protest the oppression of the working class. Every song is terrific. The Peel Sessions Album is one of my husband's favorites so I've heard Billy Bragg a lot but in a much more stripped-down setting --- just Bragg singing and accompanying himself on electric guitar. Very interesting to hear a studio album with more instruments and back-up singers. Love the violins on Train Train and the piano on Honey, I'm a Big Boy Now. There is lots of poetry to talk to the taxman about. My favorite: "Mother shakes her head and reads aloud from the newspaper As Father puts another lock on the door And reflects upon the violent times that we are living in While chatting to the wife beater next door." Oof.

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5

Sweet, empathetic, funny and socialist men will always win in my book and so it goes with Billy Bragg. I love how he wears his politics on his sleeve and keeps his Irishness at the front and center of his work. This was the album in needed in this political climate to remind me of the good fight.

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5

Awesome!

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5

Unabashedly love this. At Reading Festival one year I had given up watching Blur because they were dogshit and Damon Albarn was a stumbling mess. Instead I dodged into a tent just in time to see Billy Bragg get going. What a performance! Great, impassioned performances and anecdotes that roamed from overtly political to romantic. And that's what I hear in this album, too. Yeah, 'Power in the Union' (comrades! Does this not warm the blood?) is the big one but there's so much here that is honest, big hearted and not without craft. I love Bragg's voice, too. None of this mid-lantic bobbins, despite Bragg's Amerophiliac tendencies (at least, where music is concerned).

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5

Great stuff. Reminds me a bit of Frank Turner. Love the songs and messages.

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5

I was so excited to get this album today because I'm a huge Billy Bragg fan. This album was probably my first exposure to his music. I don't know how Billy Bragg has pulled it off so well, but he has managed to thrive for 40 years as a folk singer with a punk sensibility. No one else really was making music like this in the 80s, but it was as natural for us to listen to Bragg as it was to listen to the Clash or the Smiths. Bragg mixes the personal and the political in surprising ways, but it works really well. This is music of a young man with a point of view, but also the music of a young man simply trying to figure out what he wants in life. Bragg's songs are crisp, concise, with simple arrangements. He's really one of those once in a generation songwriters, with lyrics that are honest and deeply heartfelt. The political songs are strident and sometimes downright acidic, but Bragg balances that with storytelling that is incredibly intimate and affecting. Bragg's not a conventional singer and he may grate on some, but he delivers a line with an earnestness, pathos and humor that really sticks with you. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Levi Stubbs' Tears, The Warmest Room, The Passion, Greetings to the New Brunette, The Home Front, Wishing the Days Away, Help Save the Youth of America, There Is Power in a Union, Ideology, The Marriage, Train Train, Honey, I'm a Big Boy Now

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4

Pretty good, Closer to a 3.5

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4

Surprised, much better than I expected

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4

Wasn't expecting to like it that much, but there's a great mix of catchy songs and different sounds here.

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4

Solid album, i liked the more upbeat songs the best, cover of the tracks of my tears was amazing.

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4

I do enjoy a good brit. Great tunes

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4

Billy Bragg is folk-punk. He sings a lot about left-wing politics. This is one of his less well-known albums. Apparently he played with Wilco for a while?

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4

He reminded me I have to do my taxes...

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4

quite fun :)

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4

Crudo, a solas con su guitarra y poco más. Alcanza cimas muy altas en algunos temas pero no termina de ser el disco redondo que podía llegar a ser. Muy bueno.

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4

My impression of Billy Bragg's folk-punk music has always been that it's straightforward, blunt and effective in it's political messages and "Talking With the Taxman About Poetry" is all those things and more. With some horn accompaniment and harmonies chiming in here and there, a more fleshed out version takes shape. Charming and purposeful lyrics sung with a commanding voice, I find myself returning to this album. Fav Tracks: There is Power in a Union, Greetings from the New Brunette, Help Save the Youth of America, Levi Stubb's Tears

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4

Lofi protest folk/punk. Love it!

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4

Iznenadilo me odmah prve četiri pjesme, da su sve dost dobre i to zaredom. Nikad čuo za Billya, ali eto drago mi je da je bio kvalitetan što čujem iz ovog albuma.

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4

Young

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4

Love a bit of Billy Bragg. Simple, but very effective. He is a great wordsmith

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4

So, I wasn't sure what I was expecting prior to giving this album a listen. I'm not a punk fan, but I really enjoyed this album. It does sound a lot like other music within this genre that I've heard before, though. Highlights were Greetings To The New Brunette, Train Train, The Marriage, Levi Stubbs' Tears and Wishing The Days Away, but I liked every song. 4/5 stars.

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4

really enjoyed this one. finally vocals I can deal with. lots of great instrumentation. the overall sound doesn't get old like many other albums. enjoyed it the whole way through 4.0

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4

More my tempo

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4

https://1001albumsgenerator.com/kyleb

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4

4/5 - British James Taylor; the accent is a little off-putting

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4

Love

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4

A good album that I didn’t think I would enjoy, but ended up liking. Songs of oppression and strength in unity and unionizing. Not something I would expect out of the mid eighties, but not unwelcome.

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4

Dit is prachtig the track of my tears is een geweldige cover Levi stubbs tears... damn Nog geen 5 na eerste listen maar wel heel close

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4

3,8 Ja dit is nog wel eens een leuke vibe, maar wel lang, maar kzou miss af en toe een nummerke opzetten.

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4

Really admirable the way he storefronts his voice throughout the album. There's no hiding from your lyrics in this context, and the lyrics hold up. The electric guitar really holds its own too.

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4

A bit 80s but solo electric folk really works.

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4

I love the folky, new age-tinged sound this album has. I'm especially a fan of "Levi Stubbs' Tears"!

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4

4.0 - Someday I’ll make the good choice to tour the English countryside. One evening I’ll duck into an ancient pub. The local barflies will eye me suspiciously as I order my pint. I’ll walk to the jukebox, attempting to appear unconcerned, and see this album. I’ll remember vaguely having listened to it way back in 2021 but won’t remember any specific track, so I’ll choose one at random. At that moment, a drunk hunched over the bar will suddenly break into a clear, steady tenor. Another bloke will join in, then another and another and soon the whole bar will be singing along full-throatedly. By song’s end, I’ll get a few smiling pats on the back and one geezer might even stand me my second pint.

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4

yes yes I quite like this

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4

This isn't particularly my style of music, but Bragg is certainly engaging as a performer. This isn't an album I see myself coming back to, but it's certainly much more of an interesting listen than it would be in the hands of a less charismatic performer 4/5

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4

I actually really liked the sound of this album, considering I've never heard of this guy. No recognized songs

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4

My streak of misjudging album covers continues. I was expecting a punk album here. I don't really even know how I would classify this, it's a bit rockabilly, it's a bit dancehall, I guess this would be the Alt-Rock of the 80s. Very much its own thing, and it's super Bri'ish. The more I'm listening to this I can just picture this guy in a pub belting it out. You wouldn't see Billy play a stadium, you'd see him in the pub, it's that kind of vibe. It took a few songs but I got into this album, definitely dug it. There's a lot going on, and it's hard to pin down but it's got a lot of character.

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4

Apparently I have heard of Billy Bragg before, but I didn't remember, and I certainly had never listened to this album. It was definitely worth the time. Although after my first listen I wasn't certain that this was for me, I did appreciate the album for the musical interest and the lyrical depth. After a second listen, I liked it more.

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4

I had friends in college who were Billy Bragg fans. His earlier stuff really was just an angry voice and a guitar. I didn't get into it so much since I didn't think it was great music for a party and I wasn't much for being angry and alone with it. This album is much more musical, and I found that I enjoyed it more now. I'm still not going to put it on for dinner with friends. A few protest songs are timely; a few are dated. The "love" songs express how feelings aren't enough for a relationship. I really liked the last two songs, since they seemed to go beyond lecturing and scolding and get to some more nuance and a little bit of warmth along the anger. "The Warmest Room" and "The Home Front" both expressed uncertainty and the complications between feelings and ideals. The latter definitely feels appropriate to contemporary times.

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4

What I appreciated about this album is that it wasn't all love songs like many albums have. It scores all the points in the relatability category, being in the point of view of a blue-collar man who has opinions, got dragged into marriage and eventually divorced... Good listen overall.

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4

I really enjoyed this album . Great lyrics.

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4

Great

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4

I really dig it

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4

Apart from the folk part really good

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4

Solid

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4

Great album y an undereated indie folk singer. His guitar playing is always distinctive as are his vocals. His politics can get heavy handed at times, but that's easy to overlook. Favourite songs; Levi Stubbs Tears, Help Save the Youth of America, The Warmest Room. 4.4 🌟

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4

C'est un album particulier. Un gars qui chante seul avec sa guitare avec quelques arrangements un peu datés, ce n'est pas un hit instantané. Par contre quand j'ai pris le temps de me concentrer un peu plus sur la chose, j'ai quand même apprécié mon écoute. Comme les autres albums depuis le début de l'aventure, j'ai écouté seulement le volume 1 qui est le disque paru originalement en 1986, comme l'artiste l'avait planifié. Ce n'est pas trop folk, c'est un peu country par moment sans les éléments du style que je n'aime pas habituellement, c'est un peu punk, un peu rock et politique. Ideology poussée autour de 164 BPM avec un band complet pourrait être une chanson de Green Day. Honey, I'm a Big Boy Now avec son piano me rappelle Tom Waits. There Is Power in a Union m'a fait penser à certaines pièces de Japandroids sur l'album Celebration Rock. Help Save the Youth of America ressemble beaucoup à I Fought the Power des Clash. Au final, le minimalisme de l'instrumentation en fait quelque chose qui se démarque du lot et c'est peut-être justement la force de cet album. Pièces préférées: Levi Stubbs' Tears, There Is Power in a Union, Help Save the Youth of America, Ideology

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4

Entre Jam et Television Personalities trop cool! Prefs: Greetings to the New Brunette, The Marriage, Ideology, There Is Power in a Union, Help Save the Youth of America, The Warmest Room, The Home Front Moins pref: The Passion

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4

I’ve herd of the name before and I think I’ve seen the artwork so that’s good… The album opens with the song, greetings to a new brunette, it’s quite good to be fair I do feel I have the faintest memory of this but not too sure. I’am not sure about the backing vocals at the end but other than that it’s good. Train train is a good fast paced track a bit heavier pretty short really good simple track. The marriage starts with some really sweet horns then blissfully goes into this it’s got really strong lyrics on this one. Then is ideologically it’s a very good sonic a nice bit of political folk rock Levi Stubbs’ tears is one I definitely recognised has some great guitar moments in the track as well. Just not one of my favourites. Then is the slow little olden days’y Honey, I’m a big boy now now this is definitely my least favourite so far it’s nice to close off the first half but still not great. There is power in the union is another very political song the guitars at the start were kinda American to me which makes sense it’s a very good song to be fair it’s just there’s so many of these songs around. Help save the youth of America is another recognisable one it’s another good political track. Wishing the days away fully slows the pace down and it has some really nice string work just not my favourite. The passion is another slow jam the hook on this song is great and the lyrics as a whole to be fair. The warmest room turns things op just a little bit for a nice penultimate track I can’t put my finger on this one there’s good moments though. The album ends with the home front it is filled with horns it’s honestly an amazing closer to be honest, good smart English lyrics to close a very English album. Yeah it’s good I can see people disliking this but because of that I swear I’ve herd so much of it before I have to give it a 4.

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4

Enjoyable. Faded toward the end of the album but the first disc was excellent.

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3

3.5 stars, if I could

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3

I bit preachy but I like the sound. Reminds me of frank turner

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3

Great album, but i still love the Back to Basics stuff best.

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3

This was a fun listen and a cool English punk/80s vibe

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3

BRI'ISH INNIT

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3

Nothing stands out. Decent songs and decent feel. Lyrics are forced.

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3

An interesting album, almost entirely the artist and singular or simple instrumentation. Not every tune did it for me, but it's definitely something I could play in the background. As such, it's in 3 star territory.

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3

Not bad. Nothing memorable.

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3

Enjoyed the 2nd half a whole lot more. Seemed more unique and interesting. First half seemed a bit generic. Not bad may give it another go

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3

Quizá no sea un disco muy sorprendente pero sí es música que me agrada. Ya conocía a Billy Bragg (aunque no lo recordé de primera instancia) porque canta con Frank Turner, que me late mucho. De hecho Turner invita a Bragg por ser de los pioneros de este sonido mezcla de punk y folk que tiene letras como de todos los días pero con tintes políticos y de molestia social. En fin, me gusta el estilo de voz y la simpleza musical, que le dan para llegar a la tercera estrella.

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3

Such a fun album.

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3

Interesting album. Kind of reminds me of an old Irish folk album. Don't think I'll rush back to this one, but it wasn't bad either.

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3

Creo que las letras están bastante bien. No conocía este género, folk punk, que a decir verdad no me encantó. Quizá escuchando canciones aisladas le pueda dar mayor valor a su obra, porque un disco completo me resultó demasiado aunque no estoy muy seguro del por qué. Podría ser únicamente su voz. 2.5 estrellas que suben a 3 como reconocimiento del mérito de esta música, aunque no es muy probable que me vuelva fan del género ni que vuelva a escuchar este disco completo en la vida. Songs: Train, Train, Wishing the Days Away

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3

Always love the punk + folk genre, and pretty sure BB is iconic for this sound.

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3

Tranquilo. Guitarra acústica. Buena voz

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3

Some good jaunty tunes

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3

The first thing to know about Talking With The Taxman About Poetry is that it's a folk album. The primary instrument in these songs is electric guitar, adorned with the occasional violin, trumpet or organ. The arrangements are sparse, but effective and varied. As an instrument, Billy Bragg's voice is humble and plain, well-suited to the folk idiom. The point of this music is the songs themselves, which while simple, are tuneful, with thoughtful lyrics about a variety of topics. Still, I don't understand why this album is on this list. I cannot imagine this LP rocking anyone's world. It breaks no new ground, in fact, it's defiantly retro. That said, on its own terms, Talking With the Taxman About Poetry is pretty much perfection. How to rate? I cannot in good conscience give this any higher than a 3. 3/5

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3

To the union, to the revolution!

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3

A quandary of needing to give two albums the same score even though I clearly like one more than the other. I liked it more than the previous Bragg album but not good enough for a 4 to show that preference in the ratings.

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3

This was another ok album. Not really anything to say though. Worth a listen without the extended instrumentals, covers, and alternate versions.

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3

This style of folksy music isn't usually my thing, and this album was listenable but a lot of variations on the same thing. Sin City is my favorite off the album. Overall the vocals and forgettable melodies make this an alright but stale experience.

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3

Never really liked acoustic music, I heard Bragg referenced and covered in high school a lot but never listened. The first half of this album is really fun and not what I expected, up to Help Save the Youth of America I really enjoyed. It was all punk unplugged. From Wishing the Days Away was a boring mix of folk and country, just not something I like. Would love to hear more of his stuff that sounds like the first half of this!

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3

There is a direct line from Billy Bragg to the type of music I normally listen to (decemberists, fleet foxes, Courtney Barnett). That being said I appreciate the album but a lot of it sounds very samey. There is just not a ton of variety.

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3

Like the riffs and the guitar. Not a fan of the singing.

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3

pretty enjoyable, would be interesting to hear these songs with a full band. Would like to listen again sometime and really focus more on the lyrics.

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3

An interesting listen. The album sounds a bit like if the clash did 60s protest folk. And I kinda like it! His voice is interesting and I can see how it might turn some off, but it works for me in much the way that Dylan's does. It's not about the the sound of his singing, but about the message he brings in the lyrics. Those lyrics are pretty political, but in more of a poetic, Woody Guthrie/Dylan way than, say, the hit-em-over-the-head messaging of The Kinks' ARTHUR album. Still, I'm not sure I'd put this album in my rotation. Rather, if I heard him playing at a festival or rally, I'd appreciate him being there and sharing his viewpoint with us.

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3

A pleasant surprise. I never realised he was so melodic.

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3

Good. Great songwriter.

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3

Oito. A vida são três minutos e 31 segundos. O meu Carnaval dura pouco mais que isso. Atenção à distância entre as portas e a plataforma, que a perna é curta. MotA: "Shirley, It's quite exciting to be sleeping here in this new room"

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3

Didn’t mind it, the album was just a bit too long.

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3

Alright is billy. Some good tunes

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3

Pretty forgettable if you ask me…

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3

Eh. Thought I’d like this more than I did

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3

Typical Bragg

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3

geen al te speciaal album. Wat folky/country sound

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3

Like being in the hippy fields at Glasto

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3

Usual political balladry - voice and electric guitar - but with addition of full band in a few other songs. A good representation of Billy Bragg.

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3

Enjoyed the Tracks of my Tears cover. Don’t mind Bragg’s voice, but I don’t care enough to go here again. Neutral.

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3

Niet heel spannend maar goed uit te zitten.

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3

Lekker, krijg toch weer zin om ouderwets de straat op te gaan om te protesteren.

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3

Rock pop

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3

Non-toxic masculinity

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3

6/10

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3

Pretty good! Like the songwriting, though I wish there was more percussion.

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3

lidt fesent

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3

Fun, folky rock. Certainly evokes a time and place.

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3

23rd December 2021 Listened in the shower and while getting ready. Spent the day shopping for Christmas food then came back, played a couple of games and decorated the tree. Gains momentum throughout, powerful, raw and passionate songwriting.

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3

Pretty basic music, up and down song writing, but i like most his messages

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3

Love the sentiment but the music just doesn't move me as much as I'd like it to. Good bloke though.

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3

First half was Billy at his best, rough and raw. Second half let it down a bit.

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3

Help Save the Youths of America oli hyvä. Vähän yllätyin, että vaikka luulin tän genren tippuvan mulle, miten kädenlämpöinen fiilis tästä levystä jäi. 3/5

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3

Okei nice, musa ei aluksi napannut, mutta veikeiden tekstien ansiosta lämpenin lopulta.

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3

I could see myself getting drunk and singing these songs really loud

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3

Good drunk British music.

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3

All the songs sound basically the same, which is fine, because I like it, but it does mean that the album drags a bit towards the end. Very english, so I'm not sure how it would go across further afield - I'm scottish and don't always get all his references! Help save the youth of America is the best song, I also liked the hoke front and ideology

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3

I owned this at some point in the past though I don't think I bought it for myself. I can't argue with the musicianship though it seems like pretty bog standard neo-folk but to me the lyrics and vocal delivery haven't aged so well- song craft these a very definite back seat to the polemic delivery.

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3

Not bad, but nothing special. I've tried to get into Billy Bragg before and it's just not for me.

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3

Fav Song: The Warmest Room

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3

Okay not sure I really remember

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I've always dug Billy Bragg's vibe more than I've dug the songs, though there are a fair number that I like a lot. A New England is one of those. But I also really love the commitment to just him and a guitar most of the time and how he's able to create pretty potent experiences with just those two things. Sometimes these songs fall into the background for me, but it's something I'd listen to 8 times out of 10.

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3

Pretty good songs, but not for me

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3

Really great. Enjoyed it. I knew the first song, that was it.

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3

3.5

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3

A few good songs, but far between them on this 2 cd set

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3

Billy Bragg, whoever that is, has a strong, clear voice. I like his accent and his guitar playing isn't half bad either. Levi Stubbs' Tears stood out. Not that interesting overall, was glad to finish. Should probably listen again to do my man justice.

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3

Quite good. Ibraghs just so earnest and his voice so samey that you can o ly do a couple of tracks at a time. 3

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3

A better songwriter than singer, i maverick liked billy bragg as I have always felt that politics and music should be kept apart. I’ve mellowed a bit as the years have progressed but I still feel he should stick to songwriting

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3

Genre: Folk Rock 3/5 Quick pop quiz: did you know Billy Bragg was British? Did you know he's a vocal advocate for left-leaning causes in our society? Well, you'll soon find out, pretty much as soon as Talking with the Taxman About Poetry starts. It's the 80s, and we're still singing with traditional melodies, still locking ourselves in a room with nothing but acoustic guitars and a notebook of political lyrics, still trying to craft the perfect folk rock sound. While this is far from perfect, it wasn't bad, and was fairly easy listening for the most part. Billy Bragg's vocals are truly some of the most British sounding I've ever heard. He's not affecting it, I'm assuming, but it's so cockney and twangy that it's like a man straight out of Mississippi singing a country album. It detracts from the music a bit, but not the overall message, as Bragg advocates for youth empowerment and political radicalization in his own musical way. Help Save the Youth of America was an interesting look into how British folks viewed the state of American affairs, essentially hoping that the US can save itself from the Reagan era. Other than that, plenty of British accent, plenty of acoustic guitar and strings, but nothing else that's incredibly interesting. Decent.

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2

Had no idea there was a genre called folk-punk. Not for me though, sorry.

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2

Goofy but harmless

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Not my cup of tea.

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1.5| le voy a poner el 2 solo por qué no sabía que existía el folk punk. Cuando piensas que la rola va a despegar te quedas esperando y esperando hasta que fin y comienza otra vez a despegar y pues nada

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2

Meh

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2

Early British indie. Not for me

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2

2.5 | Pues no hay mucho que decir. Creo que su manera de cantar era muy acertada la descripción que leí; es una mezcla de folk con punk que parece extraño pero en efecto tiene el sonsonete como si fueran los ramones pero con letras más hacia el folk y aunque tiene una guitarra eléctrica los arreglos son más hacia lo acústico. Me agradó pero no me apantalló, creo el problema principal que tengo es que aunque me agradó mucho su manera de cantar sus canciones siempre se escuchan como vacías; me gustan sus letras, esa mezcla de cantar es buena pero siento que hace falta una banda y ese es el problema con el disco. Me hace falta una percusión, no hay bajo, su idea de armar las canciones me deja una sensación incompleta. Algunas llegan a tener el bajo ocasional o alguna percusión (aunque nunca una bateria formal) y pareciera que siempre te quedas esperando que empiece a tocar la banda. A falta de una banda si fuera realmente en arreglos meramente acústicos cuadraría mejor, ese punto medio es interesante pero extraño. Siento que las canciones en sí son buenas y en otra configuración hasta podrían haber pegado comercialmente.

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2

Pretty British. The wiki says "punk folk" and that makes a ton of sense. It took a while for me to get into it but I eventually started to vibe with it... won't revisit but I guess I'll say 2.5.

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I guess this record is important, for some reason? I liked a couple of the songs, most was just background music.

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It's kind of a British folk rock type thing. It tries very hard to make political points, to the point that it sacrifices the idea of making enjoyable music.

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Mostly a dude with a comically heavy English accent playing guitar and yammer-singing with, maybe, some political message I don't care to hear.

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2

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Primer apropament a Billy Brag i el seu antifolk protesta de so cru. Hi ha algun tema interessant, com el primer tall, però en general se m'ha ennuegat una mica.

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Billy hat eine treue, langjährige Gefolgschaft, die ich mir vorstelle, wie das mit dem Kaugummirhizom unter der Theke und dem Klo-Sticker Palimpsest mitwachsende/kleben gebliebene Stereo Wonderland Stamm-Publikum. Verzottelt sympa, streitlustig, politisch generell auf der tiefroten Seite. Ich will aber Musik und alles, was sie kann. Bitte keinen Stammtisch Philosophen, der hier den besten JuSo-Parteitag ever untermalt. Für die Haltung extra points.

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2

Bei aller Sympathie, das war leider nicht so gut in meinen Ohren.

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2

That's totally not my bag baby

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british, political, idk. kinda repetitive

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First part is ok, second cd is full of alternate versions and half-finished songs, which quite ruins the deluxe edition

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Nur kurz reingehört, bisschen anstrengend.

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Andere Sachen von ihm finde ich besser.

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Sounds like an old British punk frontman has done his own more folky acoustic album. It's OK, I think it needs more time to appreciate. Sounds like it was probably quite popular back in the day. 2/5

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Boring - all tracks sounded the same

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it was alright, didn't make it thru the entire thing but sounded too country ish

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Despite broadly sharing the same politics as Bragg, he's never done anything for me at all. This didn't change my mind.

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2

Nah

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The Tracks Of My Tears was my favorite song. I’m a sucker for harmony, so I also enjoyed Hold The Fort. I do not care for the lead singer’s voice. I would prefer this album be turned off if it were on.

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did not enjoy it, but it's not horrible

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Hmmm... Don't know what to say about this one except it seemed like the background noise when you go to a pub for a pint. I'm sure there's some cultural significance to this and may be stronger if I were aware of British politics of the '80s (I couldn't listen to Morrissey cover this stuff either). This isn't terrible and I did enjoy some of the rich Gibson, but I'm not gonna brag about Billy's album on my weekend readout.

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Wow, brings back memories. I hadn't thought of Billy Bragg in a mighty long time. I remember hearing his music during college at parties, on college radio stations, etc. It was okay, but I remember back then it didn't take long for his songs to feel kind of the same to me and even bordering on parody (as in, is he mocking singer-songwriters with some of his songs? I honestly can't tell...and I am sure his fans would tell me I don't "get" Billy Bragg, and they wouldn't be wrong). Listening to this album now gives me a similar experience. It's not bad at all, just not very interesting to me.

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No me gustó

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Wzl oke maar niet wauw

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Something about this just kind of annoys me. It might just be me and my mind right now but I couldn’t get through it.

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It feels like this album jumps genre a lot, but he doesn't do it very well. All the songs feel like they have something missing in them. His voice isn't suited for most of the songs he sings, and the backing track feels somewhat hollow. Favorite track: Train Train

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2

First listen, good sound. 2/5

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Another meh... for future versions of the list they should look into other language records more than keeping fillers like this

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This album never really stuck with me. It felt long and the British style was difficult at times to grasp. The guitar playing was decent and rhythmically it was ok, but it didn’t feel like anything special to me. 3.7/10

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2

Not my cup of tea - made it half way thru- no more…

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Begon aardig maar na een paar nummers werd het voor de derde dag op rij iets waar ik echt niet tegen kon. Lekkere reeks zijn we aan het maken!

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Wel aardig, maar ook hier trekt de stem me te weinig.

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Funny how some writers are drawn to their central concept like a magnet. In this dude's case, he seems pretty goddamn passionate about politics, a topic which I've always maintained zero interest in. So, between that and his not-quite-musical-but-almooooost-there voice, we were never going to be a suitable match between artist and listener. Sorry Billy, but you ain't for me matey.

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Not something I would ever return to or could enjoy

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Very folksy. On the right side of history but the music sucks

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Don’t like lead singer’s voice

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Folk punk, politisk, akustisk guitar

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Presumably this is mostly lyrics oriented and political, which is not really my thing. Musically it is fairly uninteresting, although I like the vocal + electric guitar combination on some of the songs.

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Kovin on keskinkertaista mun korvaan vaikka usein akustisesta ”flokkipunkista” tykkäänkin. Kai tässä on vähän liian vähän sitä punkkia ja toisaalta folkkia mun makuun. Vähän tällänen kahden markan juttu. Sen mitä taas teksteistä sain selvää niin vaikutti ihan hyvältä. Kansi taas kerran hieno. Kauheen kriittinen mä oon...

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I guess I’ll be the outlier here and bring down the rank. If you took these songs and added distortion and drums the criticism would probably be, “What’s the point of this music when The Clash already exists?” To which I would say, “Yeah, but it’s The Clash.” And by that I just mean why choose to be less exciting, ya know? It’s such an intentional decision to go the solo folk singer route as opposed to a full band and I get it - I know dude has the Woodie Guthrie thing - but it feels more intellectually or ideologically driven than emotionally so. Which resulted in a listening experience that, despite loving this guy’s voice and liking a lot of the lyrics, I had no real emotional engagement with. In fact, when it got to the second disc and the mandolins came in I could not hit the stop button fast enough. If he ever puts out a punk record (and maybe he has) I’m there. Until then, it’s just not for me.

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A little bland, but the songs topics try to make up for that. Seeing as though I don't have must stake/interest in England's political situation, much of the songs do not have much of an impact on me. 4/10

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Slightly generic mildly wanky folk stuff

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The type of music that can pass right under my nose and I wouldn't notice.

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Je ne comprends pas le truc des accents. Des fois, il est full vieux British et au début du 2e disque, il est Sud-ouest des E-U. Autrement, c’est le propos que je devine être l’important. Ce serait un genre de Springsteen Britanique... Musicalement, c’est plutôt pauvre et répétitif. Ce sont des chanson quoi.

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Not for me.

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I’m going to be honest I hated this album

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I know many people idolise Bragg. I’ve never really seen the attraction. He was like a pub singer and if I’d listened to all the words I might have discovered a profound truth but I didn’t and it left me cold.2*

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Terrible

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Boring

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Not it chief

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a boring swamp thing

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Nothing I liked about it

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I didn't know quite to expect from this - I've not listened to much 1980s indie, but I'm a fan of stuff in the vague orbit of it, so I was curious. I'm sad to say I had a strong negative reaction to this album. Bragg's voice was an immediate turn-off, and this simplistic acoustic sound lives and dies on the quality of its singer. It's just so overblown and grating. Beyond that, any attempts at more complex instrumentation felt gimmicky. I'm loathe to use the word \"preachy\" - I usually don't mind artists being political, in and of itself - but this was really it. It just oozes this tone of smug condescension (even though my political views probably aren't a world away from his). Similarly, any attempts at romance or sentimentality rang hollow.

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Looking at some of the stuff around this album, a lot of them refer to this album as intelligent and rocking like punk. This album is neither. I will not be listening to the second disc, and I could've done without listening to the first. This is like listening to The Clash's singer sing over Bruce Springsteen songs. The only song that I even find tolerable is "Train Train".

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Well the music was shit. Probably a societally meaningful piece of art based on it's lyrics, for some people at a certain point of time. But that has gone and passed. Album should not be on this list.

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Did not pay attention the lyrics, I probably should have, but the music itself was a bit too boring for me.

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Bragg sounds like he's desperately trying to be Ian Dury on some of these tracks, although without the charm, intelligence or charisma. I get that this music is political, but can't music be both political and fun? Oh, the cover of "tracks of my tears" isn't great.

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Vraiment pas mon bag D'un ennui... j'ai pas terminé Important j'imagine pour le propos engagé parce que c'est sûrement pas pour la musique et les arrangements...

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