At some indeterminate point in their now 25 year long history and with serenely inconspicuous efficiency, Birmingham's UB40
rose to a level of peerlessness as the first-family of British reggae. While they've absolutely nothing left to prove - save to those bored by their longevity - Who You Fighting For
finds UB40 shouting more loudly than usual; the likelihood being - even at this autumnal stage of the band's career - that less partisan ears may be pricked by such refreshing spices as the Bhangra chorus of "Reasons" or even by more traditional summer reggae sweeteners as "Gotta Tell Someone" or the dark, philanderer-reformed ruminations of "One Woman Man". But the real reason why UB40 are raising their voices is Iraq, possibly the most upset they've been about anything since Maggie's iron grip on the keys of Number 10. While having the brass to call one tune "War Poem" - not the wisest thing to do if one wants to avoid the elicitation of disparaging comparisons with Wilfred Owen - doesn't bode well, UB40 reach for the shrewd invective on "Sins Of A Father", a well-written censure of Christian neo-Conservatism and oil lust. Sensibly, the lean skin-and-bone production and avoidance of MOR blandishments make UB40 seem meaner - and younger - than they have done in years. --Kevin Maidment
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