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Tooth & Nail


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Audio CD, March 19, 2013
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Biography

He was born Steven William Bragg in Essex around the time Tommy Steele was climbing the singles charts with Happy Guitar and the Soviet Union was launching Sputnik 2 into space. Today, on the verge of the release of his eleventh and best album, Mr. Love & Justice, he is known as Billy Bragg by his loyalists worldwide yet he is still called Steven by his Mother and still referred to as the ... Read more in Amazon's Billy Bragg Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 19, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Essential Music
  • ASIN: B00B00RJJO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. January Song
2. No One Knows Nothing Any More
3. Handyman Blues
4. I Aint Got No Home
5. Swallow My Pride
6. Do Unto Others
7. Over You
8. Goodbye, Goodbye
9. There Will Be A Reckoning
10. Chasing Rainbows
11. Your Name On My Tongue
12. Tomorrow s Going To Be A Better Day

Editorial Reviews

2013 release, the first new studio album in five years from the veteran British singer/songwriter and political activist. Britain has never needed a Billy Bragg album as much as it needs one right now. Economic strife, unpopular foreign wars and the continued electoral gains of the Far Right mean that the country is gripped with uncertainty, a lack of confidence in its own identity. Far from solving the country's ills, Tooth & Nail promises to reflect the uncertain times in which we live on a personal level. Recorded across five days with Joe Henry, guests on Tooth & Nail include Greg Leisz (Bon Iver), Patrick Warren (Lana Del Rey), Jay Bellerose (Regina Spektor) and David Piltch (Ramblin' Jack Eliot).

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
It's a lovely album to listen to.
Sid Nuncius
OK there are no upbeat zingers on this one but overall this is still a very good listen.
Kevin M. Jackson
Tooth and Nail is a great new album by Billy Bragg.
Thomas Wodock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 19, 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Vance R. Hiner on May 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a pleasant outing by a guy who usually plays a lot rougher. If you want "soap box" Billy, this won't be your cup of tea. However, if you appreciate a subtle, well-aged song crafter meditating on the passage of time and ironies of life, you'll love every cut. Billy hasn't lost the passion of his street busking days, he's just wiser on this disc. It doesn't reach the heights of Mermaid Avenue, but it's a nice addition to the catalog.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janet D. Miller on September 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sit down. Kick off your shoes and listen. For those of us of a certain age, and of a very particular kind of experience, the playlist of "Tooth & Nail" will feel familiar and sound throughout our souls. You may at first be attracted by the rousing "There will be a reckoning", but you will want to stay for the funny and poignant messages portrayed by Bragg as he paints a portrait of a poetic handyman or prepares for the funeral of a loved one. The romantic loveliness of "Your Name on My Tongue" will linger in your heart, accompanied by a musical arrangement that will send that same heart soaring. Bragg is a craftsman musician and songster. These songs will break your heart - and I mean that in the best of ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Gilliland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 8, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Yes, he's getting older, and the songs are more mellow and reflective, especially in regards to matters of the heart, but it's still Billy Bragg and there is also predictable outrage, and passion in these new tunes. Well, they aren't all new; he also included a terrific cover of Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home." But the overall tone is definitely mellower, with much of the material exuding a definite folk and country vibe.

Someone also remarked that this album sounded more "American" in tone, and I'd agree with that. Whether it's the themes of the songs or Joe Henry's production, the album DOES have a slightly different vibe, especially if you go back and compare it to the records Bragg made in the 1980s. He may not be the angry young man who many of us were so captivated by back in those days, but he still has a lot to say and this is a consistently good album with that familiar Bragg "bite" in just the right places. There are a few tracks that don't move me, but overall this one is a keeper. Songs like "There Will Be a Reckoning," "Your Name on My Tongue" and "Goodbye, Goodbye" rank with his very best compositions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. Jackson on May 23, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK there are no upbeat zingers on this one but overall this is still a very good listen. Critics might say too country, too slow. This is a first impression but with multiple spins you will be able to pull out many gems on this album. My favorites include Do Unto Others and No one knows nothing anymore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Garden on April 17, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bragg's best album since Mermaid Avenue; it's probably his best ever! He can still break your heart (Goodbye Goodbye), make you laugh (I'm Not Your Handyman) and get you fired up and ready to take on injustice (There Will Be a Reckoning) within minutes. A master at the top of his craft. Buy this album!!
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By Thalia Johnson on February 7, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Had never listened to Billy Bragg and will definitely get more of his work. He has a wide range of work from love songs to political ballads.
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By M. Ferguson on November 30, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I hadn't bought a Billy Bragg record in twenty years but I ordered this one after listening to the preview samples and I was glad I did.
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