Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Don't Try This At Home

I don’t dislike Billy Bragg, I really enjoy his music, its more of a guilt thing and having to subject you the reader to BB overdose, I mean how many albums do I need, and this morning was indeed another, the M6 between junctions 14 and 27 were soundtracked by Billy Bragg and the album, Don’t Try This At Home.
My wife pretty much banned me from listening to Billy Bragg in around 2002, which was OK as it kind of coincided with the when I was going off him, I like to let her believe that she has had a small victory, I also put the toilet seat down when the mood takes me. The thing is though I listen to albums like this and on the whole I realise why I used to like him so much, yeah he is a leftie and lefties tend not to have a sense of humour, oh they believe they have, but they don’t, and I should know, rewind back to 2001 and you will have seen me outside Telford Town Centre trying to get you to buy Socialist Worker, you didn’t buy it by the way, you looked at your feet and hastily made off, I don’t blame you for this, I do it myself now.
None of this of course tells you about this Bragg album or my thoughts regarding it. Well for the uninitiated this album is the home of the singles, Sexuality, Accident Waiting To Happen and You Woke Up My Neighbourhood, the latter featuring Michael Stipe and Peter Buck, who Bragg appeared with earlier in the year under the guise of Bingo Hand Job, a recording of their version of Tom’s Diner appears somewhere else in my record collection, on an REM bootleg and it is without question up there amongst the worst cover versions ever, think Annie Lennox doing Train In Vain or James Blunt doing Where Is My Mind.
I digresse, this album also feature the contribution of Johnny Marr, and if you have read my views on him contributing to other tracks you might know that I do not rate Johnny Marrs production highly at all, him and the ginger one from Queens of the Stone Age are so caught up in their own egos they have to have their stamp any artist they work with, and it is Marrs contribution to this album that taints it.
It is not a bad album however, in the scheme of things Braggs take on Fred Neils’ The Dolphins is as good as any and much better than the version Beth Orton recorded with Terry Callier.
Also on this album we have Braggs ode to his father in Tank Park Salute, a really touching song and amongst the best of his career. We also have Bragg eulogising former Wolves player, Peter Knowles in Gods Footballer, Knowles was a Wolves player that gave it all up for religion.
Outside of these tracks we also have Cindy of a Thousand Eyes and Everywhere, but also Braggs worst, lyrically, song ever in Body Of Water, Christ it stinks.
As a whole though at 15 tracks long its easy to forget the bad, so 7 out of 10.

Tank Park Salute by Billy Bragg

No comments:

Post a Comment