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Mr. Love & Justice (Deluxe Edition)

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iTunes Review

Coming six years after England, Half English, 2008’s Mr. Love & Justice displays British political troubadour Billy Bragg recharged and at his most musical to date. His ongoing association with the Blokes — his steady backing band, featuring legendary keyboardist Ian McLagan (Small Faces/ Faces) — lifts his music to inspired, previously untouched plateaus. There’s real peach-fuzzed electric guitar interplay on “Something Happened” and a legitimate nightclub groove to the title track, courtesy of McLagan’s Fender Rhodes electric piano. The extra musical cushions allow Bragg to settle back and sing with less stridency, invoking the sensitive side that’s often been overshadowed by his harsh, nasal tone and the extremes of his piercing electric guitar. Here, he embraces an acoustic for “If You Ever Leave” and employs legendary Soft Machine vocalist Robert Wyatt for the haunting opening track, “I Keep Faith.” Politics still simmer within the solemn marching drama of “O Freedom” and the overwrought puns of “The Johnny Carcinogenic Show.” Bragg has mellowed with age and matured musically, and it shows.

Customer Reviews

Just a solid, feel-good album

Many times when songwriters are this far into their career, their material inevitably gets stale. It's hard enough being avant-garde and relevant in one decade, let alone three. But Billy has not lost it. This record is solid through and through. Some of it fun, some of it somber, romantic, political - all the elements we've come to expect from him. It's very well produced, but he never over-does it. The protest songs don't come off as too preachy or obnoxious and all the songs are catchy and well thought-out. Billy's a bit calmer here, a lot more grown-up, and often that means boring (a-la recent Van Morrisson or Stones), but he still inserts enough of an edge into each song that it never sounds like a writer past his prime. It sounds like he's just comfortable now. There is nothing here that pushes the envelope, no new sound is created. But if you're already a fan I'm pretty sure you'll like it and maybe he'll even get some new fans out of this one too. Seeing as he's vastly under-rated and it's shocking how many don't know his name, I hope this record sounds somewhat resonant out there.

Billy Bragg is Awesome

I've been a fan of Billy Bragg for some time now and I've got to say, he's still got it!!!

I can't stop singing these songs!

It is such a joy listening to this great new album from Billy Bragg. It harkens back to his classic album "Workers Playtime" while sounding fresh and new. Both the band version and solo version are worth the price.


Born: December 20, 1957 in Barking Town Hall, London, Englan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Finding inspiration in the righteous anger of punk rock and the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the leading figure of the anti-folk movement of the '80s. For most of the decade, Bragg bashed out songs alone on his electric guitar, singing about politics and love. While his lyrics were bitingly intelligent and clever, they were also warm and humane, filled with detail and wit. Even though his lyrics were carefully considered, Bragg never neglected...
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