This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Talking With the Taxman About Poetry

Billy Bragg

1986

Talking With the Taxman About Poetry
Album Summary

Talking with the Taxman About Poetry is the third album by Billy Bragg, released in September 1986. With production by John Porter and Kenny Jones, Talking with the Taxman About Poetry featured more musicians than Bragg's previous works, which were generally little more than Bragg himself and a guitar. There were two singles released from the album. While "Levi Stubbs' Tears" peaked at No. 29 in the UK, the follow-up "Greetings to the New Brunette" fell short, only managing No. 58 a few months later.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.96

Votes

9633
Genres
Rock
Folk
Punk

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Wed Aug 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 16 2021
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"

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 11 2021
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*

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 14 2021
1

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

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 04 2020
4

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

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 16 2023
1

3 songs in, whinging pom set to music.

👍
View Author
Tue Jul 20 2021
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!

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 30 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 15 2023
5

Loved this as an 11yo, due to Smash Hits regularly featuring the Bard of Barking for some reason! Exactly the musician we needed in the Thatcher years, and I for one think his voice is perfect for the material. Shirley!

👍
View Author
Sat May 08 2021
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

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 29 2023
3

At times he sounds endearing, at other times he sounds like he's just shouting.

👍
View Author
Sat May 15 2021
1

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.

👍
View Author
Sun Oct 09 2022
1

i always feel like because of his political leanings i should like old billy. but i fucking hate folk nonce music and this is 100% folk nonce territory. its the type of shit that makes me leave a pub when some arsehole starts wailing one of their songs of woe.

👍
View Author
Sun Apr 09 2023
1

Just started the first song and fuck me, is this voice gonna be there the whole time? The music is pretty good, especially the guitar... but this fucking voice Jesus Christ. Oh good, we've got a "punk poet" and it's full of politically, socially charged lyrics blah blah fucking blah. The song ideology really sums it up - durrr I don't really know what I'm on about but I want to complain aimlessly and I think I'm smarter than I really am so here's my, uh, scathing account of modern society. lol. What a loser. I gave this a 2 about halfway into the album but fuck, it just wouldn't end. And this is probably the worst voice on the project. I'm on about album 950 so at this point I should know. 1/5.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 10 2021
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

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 19 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 07 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 18 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 30 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 16 2022
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).

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 29 2022
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

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 27 2022
5

I love this album and Billy Bragg is a true troubadour. Who else can mix lovelorn Ballads with protest songs with such conviction and perfection

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Loved this as an 11yo, due to Smash Hits regularly featuring the Bard of Barking for some reason! Exactly the musician we needed in the Thatcher years, and I for one think his voice is perfect for the material. Shirley!

👍
View Author
Sun May 14 2023
5

Oh my sweet jesus, some of that early folk punk. I eat it all up.

👍
View Author
Mon May 15 2023
5

Sparse and delightful. Ideology is brilliant. The Passion is beautiful. As is the Home Front. Billy Bragg is necessary.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 07 2023
5

This was actually really good. The music was good, and the lyrics were interesting, or painted a picture, or resonated. "And marriage is when we admit Our parents were right" "When the world falls apart some things stay in place" "Our place in History is as Clock watchers, old timers, window shoppers" Standout Tracks - Greetings to the New Brunette - The Marriage - Levi Stubb's Tears - Wishing the Days Away - The Passion The album overall was great

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 19 2023
5

A really great album about life, love, politics, and everything in between. 5/5. Favorite Track: The Marriage

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 24 2023
5

An easy 5 for me. I loved this album in college, recognizing that Billy sings either about love or left leaning causes. Though i don't necessarily align with his fervor, it well executed with melody and earnestness that makes this a very compelling album. I enjoy it and can listen to it over and over. Levi Stubbs' and New Brunette are fabulous.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 05 2023
5

Speaking to the taxman about poetry can go either one of two ways: become a depressing bore in which no progress would be made at all or an enlightening experience that could benefit both parties entirely and make one's day. In this latter scenario, Billy Bragg does that, then some and more. Using the album platform to fully wear his heart on his sleeve when it comes to love and politics, Billy becomes one with not only his arrangements but the cover versions of classic songs on the second disc. The second disc, with renditions of Gram Parsons' Sin City and the Miracles' Tracks of My Tears, helps best illustrate Billy's pure talent in making what was familiar feel new again. May there be power in unions forevermore.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 13 2023
5

This is so completely my shit it’s unreal, a new favorite. I thought I was going to dock a point for Billy’s voice at first, but by the end it had grown on me a ton. He isn’t a great singer but he has that raw, earnest quality that I love in folk music especially. I can hear his influence on one of my other favorites, Frank Turner, so clearly.

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 29 2023
5

I really enjoyed this. Political, powerful, honest.

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 11 2023
5

Wow, that was some crazy awesome music I’ve never heard of before!

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 21 2021
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)

👍
View Author
Tue May 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Jun 15 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Mon May 09 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Sun Aug 28 2022
3

Greetings to the new brunette- perfectly pleasant, feel like it could stand out little bit more 👍 Train train- guitar is fantastic on this The marriage-meh, I don’t think this a hot take Ideology- bob dylan wrote the melody, no wonder it’s meandering. Yet another anti politician song, lyrics fine Levi Stubbs tears- great song, nice storytelling and great instrumental 👍 Honey, I'm a big boy now- good for her, he seemed like a man child. Like music hall feel There Is Power in a Union-apt for our times lol Help save the youth of America-amazing song, criticising patronising fundraiser songs, and very catchy👍 Wishing the days away- cute pleasant song The passion - poignant, atmospheric song👍 The warmest room- upbeat fun song 👍 The home front -nothing has changed in 35 yrs I guess :) land of hope and glory Only listened to songs for original albums. Felt like the political songs are still apt now, which is kinda sad but something didn’t really click with me about them. Took a while for me to get into the music. Some really good songs in here, but mostly just alright 3/5

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 16 2022
2

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.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 04 2021
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

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
5

great album - big fan of Billy Bragg

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 14 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 18 2022
5

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

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 28 2022
5

He do be spittin there is power in a union

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 23 2022
5

There's power in a union! Älskar protestsånger

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 17 2023
5

Not even so strong musically.. but, I mean, there is power in a union ✊🏿

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 04 2023
5

Buenísimo. Minimalista. La voz del Billy es una mezcla de the cure, los ramones, Noel Gallagher y el cantate de ataque77 jajaja. Está el tema de Jackass. El album no tiene batería. En general solo acompañando con la guitarra, los temas son buenos sino te aburris al tercer tema. El primer disco es un 5. El disco 2 es un 3. pero son 22 temas asi que se merece el 5.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 05 2023
5

What a big surprise this was, absolutely loved the sound, reminded me a lot of Frank Turner

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 05 2023
5

This is fantastic! My love for punk and folk mixed together. Love how the attitude mixes well with the soft nature of the music.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 08 2023
5

Grata sorpresa. La siguiente vez prestaré atención a las letras.

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 24 2023
5

The Dylan of my generation, but better.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 17 2024
5

I listened to the Bard from Barking a lot when I was in my twenties. Love the accent, love the message. This is one of his best albums. There are only a few artists of whom I have attended more concerts than Billy Bragg.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 01 2024
5

I adored this record. I love its protest spirit and combo of folk and punk sounds. Not about of records like this one out there.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 08 2024
5

I think that while listening to this you can hear how it would directly influence future artists. I hear Neutral Milk Hotel for sure, and I can imagine Radiohead. I like the idea of folk, which is so homely, mixed with punk. I loved this album. It feels energetically warm and wistful, with undercurrents of anger and passion. Like a glass of lemonade.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 29 2024
5

I like Billy Bragg. Though I’m not overly fond of the political stuff. Mermaid Avenue is my favorite. California Stars

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 14 2021
4

Pretty good, Closer to a 3.5

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 23 2021
4

Surprised, much better than I expected

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 03 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 01 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 12 2021
4

I do enjoy a good brit. Great tunes

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 12 2021
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?

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 23 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 12 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 16 2021
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

👍
View Author
Tue Jun 01 2021
4

Lofi protest folk/punk. Love it!

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 30 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Jul 20 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Mon May 03 2021
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

👍
View Author
Fri May 07 2021
4

https://1001albumsgenerator.com/kyleb

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 10 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 02 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 09 2021
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

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 09 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 20 2021
4

A bit 80s but solo electric folk really works.

👍
View Author
Sat Sep 04 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 15 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 18 2021
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

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 01 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 08 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 30 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 30 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 07 2022
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.

👍
Load more reviews