No Description Available
No Track Information AvailableMedia Type:
MUST I PAINT YOU A PICTURE? ESSENTIAL BILLY BRAGGStreet Release Date:
Must I Paint You a Picture
is a generous, two-disc, 40-track survey of Bragg's career to date. The tracklisting was apparently assembled with the help of Bragg's fans, who were asked to vote for their favourites on Bragg's website, but this democratic initiative has only been taken so far: while "Little Time Bomb", for example, was a more popular choice than, say, "The Boy Done Good", the latter is included and the former isn't. It would, of course, be uncharitable to suggest that this is reflective of the authoritarian instincts that lurk inside most socialists.
At any rate, though Bragg has always been chiefly characterised as a political songwriter, his best work has always been that which deals with the politics of the personal: there are few more acute summations of the eternal failure of the male and female to make sense to each other than his "How can you lie there and think of England when you don't even know who's in the team?" Bragg's superb love songs and love-gone-wrong songs are well represented here, from the angry, naive scratchings of "The Milkman of Human Kindness" to such older, if no wiser, musings as "Moving the Goalposts" and "Sulk". Curiously, his older, politically motivated songs now feel like they've reacquired an urgency they lacked during a 1990s largely devoid of stark ideological boundaries, when they sounded rather like quaint period pieces. The so-called war on terror and the increasing discomfort about global trade both have ready made soundtracks in "Between the Wars" and "There is Power in a Union". --Andrew Mueller