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Tooth & Nail
 
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Tooth & Nail

17 Mar. 2013 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity Prime  
30
1
2:19
30
2
4:31
30
3
3:03
30
4
3:33
30
5
2:50
30
6
4:08
30
7
3:16
30
8
3:16
30
9
3:30
30
10
3:39
30
11
4:50
30
12
3:10
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Mar. 2013
Format: MP3 Download
I like this album very much. Billy Bragg recorded it with producer Joe Henry in Pasadena with a fine American band including pedal steel, which means his sound is a very long way from the angry young man that I first heard in the late 70s, singing and playing solo through a slightly distorted amplifier from the back of a van at a protest rally. This is musically and often lyrically much more mellow, but the old passions are still there and it's an album with real substance.

Overall, there is an Americana-ish feel to the disc, although it is quite varied: for example, when I first heard the opening January Song I thought immediately of Pentangle, and Chasing Rainbows (for me, the only slightly weak track) is an attempt at an out-and-out Country song. The political statements are still there, just dressed in more laid-back clothes. Woody Guthrie again gets moving and intelligent treatment with a great version of I Ain't Got No Home - which remains astonishingly pertinent today - and the original songs are very good, too. For example, in No One Knows Nothing Anymore we get the line, "What happens when the markets drop?...." which is classic Billy Bragg, as is "How can a man be strong/If he can't even lift up the telephone and say he's wrong?" in the lovely Swallow My Pride, and the title of There Will Be A Reckoning speaks for itself.

It's a lovely album to listen to. It is tuneful, very well played and produced and features wearier, softer vocals from Billy Bragg than his earlier material, but his old commitments remain strong and there is real heart and sincerity here. Don't expect Life's A Riot or Talking With the Taxman, but I think it's an excellent album and it's warmly recommended.
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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I like this album very much. Billy Bragg recorded it with producer Joe Henry in Pasadena with a fine American band including pedal steel, which means his sound is a very long way from the angry young man that I first heard in the late 70s, singing and playing solo through a slightly distorted amplifier from the back of a van at a protest rally. This is musically and often lyrically much more mellow, but the old passions are still there and it's an album with real substance.

Overall, there is an Americana-ish feel to the disc, although it is quite varied: for example, when I first heard the opening January Song I thought immediately of Pentangle, and Chasing Rainbows (for me, the only slightly weak track) is an attempt at an out-and-out Country song. The political statements are still there, just dressed in more laid-back clothes. Woody Guthrie again gets moving and intelligent treatment with a great version of I Ain't Got No Home - which remains astonishingly pertinent today - and the original songs are very good, too. For example, in No One Knows Nothing Anymore we get the line, "What happens when the markets drop?...." which is classic Billy Bragg, as is "How can a man be strong/If he can't even lift up the telephone and say he's wrong?" in the lovely Swallow My Pride, and the title of There Will Be A Reckoning speaks for itself.

It's a lovely album to listen to. It is tuneful, very well played and produced and features wearier, softer vocals from Billy Bragg than his earlier material, but his old commitments remain strong and there is real heart and sincerity here. Don't expect Life's A Riot or Talking With the Taxman, but I think it's an excellent album and it's warmly recommended.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Billy Bragg has a reputation for a folky, punky, political style where he uses Estuary English to "reach out."

If that's what you were expecting, this may surprise you.

He recorded this in The USA and the Nashville effect has rubbed off somewhat. It could well be an album by a country star who wanted to become less commercial and show their artistic prowess. The occasional slide guitar gives the game away and the style will of course open up Mr Bragg to a new audience.

For the aficionados? Well, his balls have well and truly dropped here. it is grown up, intelligent, non political, non radical and an all round decent album. If it were a new artist I had never heard of I would be anticipating the next album, as the mix and style is easy on the ear. His voice has lost the accent and developed a growl that suits the mid Atlantic style of the album. I assume that on a tour, he will have to develop a split personality as the voice he uses here might not suit a sudden "I was a miner" chant whilst the old voice might not cut it with these excellent songs.

Buy it and I guarantee you will play it a few dozen times in the first few weeks. The tunes are catchy, the style easy and overall product excellent.

Just a bit surprised to see Billy Bragg make this transition. i like it.
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Format: Audio CD
The Deluxe Edition of Tooth And Nail is probably the best package for extras I've ever seen for a music CD. Looking like an old Ladybird book, it includes a DVD of Billy's often highly entertsining promo videos from the 80s and 90s, the lyrics for the new album and a handful of articles written by the artist for Q magazine. Beautifully presented but what of the music itself...

Billy sees Tooth And Nail as something of a continuation of the Mermaid Avenue albums he made with Wilco at the turn of the century. Recorded with four supporting musicians over just five days in Joe Henry's studio in South Pasadena, the emphasis is a bit more country than the folk-rock of the Wilco LPs but is nevertheless a very good album of Americana.

Mostly acoustic with none of the clanging electric guitar of Bragg's early albums, the musical settings bring out the very best of Billy's once maligned voice which has never sounded better. The lyrics also complement the music well with a general downbeat, world-weariness not typical of this usually most chipper of artists. Partially influenced by the recent death of his mother, the more introspective highlights include No One Knows Nothing Anymore, Over You and the simple but melodic opener January Song. "This is how the end begins".

It's not all doom and gloom though with the touching Handyman Blues, a humorous ode to all sensitive men who struggle once the package from B&Q arrives. As always with Billy, there's also a large degree of hope in particular with the closing Tomorrow's Going To Be A Better Day - a beacon of light at the end of an album which, like many these days, fades slightly over the final third.

Probably not quite Billy's finest album musically then but still a very fine LP and honest artistic statement. It still has plenty of highlights so I would give the album alone four stars - though the Deluxe Edition certainly deserves the full five.
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