This is one of those spinetingly albums that musicians live for. The overwhelming starkness of the production only serves to accentuate Billy Bragg's outstanding talent at writing a great song.
His voice sounds like that bloke that plays down the open-mic session down the local, his guitar playing is reminiscent of the way your strat-copy sounded when you practiced in your bedroom with your 40 Watt Page Amp and the headphones you mum made you wear, yet singers and musicians all over the place have covered song after song after song.
What is it about Billy that stands out from all the other wannabe rock stars? It could be the genius way with words he has, making the mundane sound magical and the magical sound mundane. It could be the way he cleverly renders the drum beat, the bassline, the harmony vocals and the string section, all from one slightly off-key guitar. Or it could just be because he sounds like the bloke from down the pub, like yourself when you were young, like anyone, but you just know the songs are something special.
I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them but they were only satellites
Is it wrong to wish on space hardware?
I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care
--- A New England ---