Tooth & Nail by Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg’s first album in over five years sees him revisiting the American folk themes he covered on the two Mermaid Avenue albums. The songs here deal with more personal subjects, as opposed to the politically charged writing for which he is probably better known.

Produced by Joe Henry, the album was recorded in five days in a basement in California, which, according to Billy, was the quickest recording stint he’s had since laying down the tracks for his debut more than 30 years ago. Billy sings live with the band here – there’s no tricking up his vocals in production later on – and I think it shows; Billy’s voice sounds far more natural this way.

Tooth & Nail has been labelled as a follow-up to the Mermaid Avenue sessions, and fans of those albums should definitely check this out.

Dave Clarke is a Music & DVD Specialist at Readings Carlton.