Billy Bragg, Mr Love and Justice (Cooking Vinyl)

 |   |  <1 min read

Billy Bragg: I Keep Faith
Billy Bragg, Mr Love and Justice (Cooking Vinyl)

This is the album that famously wasn't released in time for Bragg to promote at this year's Big Day Out appearances. Not that he seemed to mind (much), he noted that he was flown to the other side of the world, there was an all-day backstage bar, he got to hang out with great musicians, and he only had to play for about 30 minutes.

"We call it the Big Day Off, " he laughed.

This album also catches him in a (mostly) good mood about love and justice as the title says.

There is a polemic swipe at certain American television shows which by being such a sledgehammer is the weakest thing here -- but it is the very soulful ballads (I Keep Faith and You Make Me Brave especially) where he really finds his voice.

He's still a wordy bugger with Something Important To Say and sometimes it works to his detriment (Something Happened) -- but when he marries the message to either a rocking backbeat (The Beach is Free), gets the rhyme scheme just right (O Freedom) or pulls right back for some quieter consideration (the taut Farm Boy with its political subtext) you feel that Bragg is just getting better with the years.

Share It

Your Comments

Grant Stone - Nov 24, 2008

I'd vote this one of the best of the year. Played it many, many times.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

John Cale: Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood (Domino)

John Cale: Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood (Domino)

Although Lou Reed embodies the spiritual core of Velvet Underground, in the fortysomething years since John Cale quit he has made the more interesting music. From venomous and gristly rock... > Read more

Po' Girl: Vagabond Lullabies (Shock)

Po' Girl: Vagabond Lullabies (Shock)

This is an unusual one: the Po' Girls seem to be a fairly flexible line-up which includes Trish Klein of the Be Good Tanyas (who have featured at Elsewhere previously). So there is a touch of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BEATLES, THE RISHiKESH ALBUM (2017): A lost album found at last

THE BEATLES, THE RISHiKESH ALBUM (2017): A lost album found at last

The discovery last week of a previously unknown Beatles' studio album from 1968 – recorded at EMI Studios in New Delhi (formerly known as Delhi) in India – has prompted the band's... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Benjii Jackson of Muzai Records

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Benjii Jackson of Muzai Records

You gotta love the motto of Benjii Jackson's Muzai Records: "independent Fighting Spirit". And they been going their independent way since 2009 wqith some of Elsewhere's favourite... > Read more