I had the joy of seeing Mitch perform most of this album live, and 'Breaking Strings' is fast becoming one of my favourite collections of his songs.
Mitch's satirical observations of news stories are sometimes hysterical ('Stab a burglar') and sometimes so true it's hard to laugh ('The Library' and 'God is on everyone's side'). I was struck by 'He don't look right' which is about how the press can ruin your life through malicious gossip (think Chris Jefferies); the chorus just oozes suspicion and unease.
Other observations on life such as 'Budget Air', 'Win 1 Lose 1', 'I love my phone' and 'Lullaby for the real world' are all very funny and need no introduction. Inspired by a news story that said the Queen Mother's taste in music was influenced by visits to Jamaica, 'The Queen Mother' conjures a fun image of the Queen Mum grooving around Buckingham Palace.
Listeners of the Now Show on Radio 4 may have heard Mitch's hysterical 'Song for Europe' (written when Israel's submission to Eurovision, a song titled 'Push the button', was criticised for being too political), though the version here is more explicit than was aired! I loved its unashamed brashness, but beware anyone who loves this song too much.
'Quantum mechanics' describes an experiment recently performed in Toronto; as one who studied physics, I found it fun. The recording on this album has real clarity - I could tell what the words were first time off the CD (but then I am a physicist).
My favourite remains 'Proud of the BBC', being Mitch's (uncommissioned) response to complaints about the BBC licence fee ("even if you don't always choose it, you'll know what you had if you lose it"). Apparently it took three weeks to write and two months to learn and I challenge anyone to hear the verses and to fail to recognise beloved TV favourite.