A bit like his own interviewer on "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards" - "mixing pop and politics, he asks me what the use is" I like Billy Bragg when he he is less in preaching to the converted mode and instead singing songs of the heart. His best love/love gone wrong songs come from the time of "Worker's Playtime", written at a time when his personal life was a bit complicated, he started a relationship with the ex wife of his then label boss. Lyrically, every song has has couplets that are as good as anything Paddy McAloon , Elvis Costello or Morrissey were producing at the time.
The Short Answer has has one of the best opening lines ever - "Between Marx and Marzipan in the dictionary there was Mary" - somehow the slightly forced rhyme makes it even better.
My favourite line in a song stuffed full of great ones and this week's monday moment is a place we've all been when
" The boys who came to the shop always made her laugh much more than I did
When I told her this must stop she didn't bat an eyelid
She said you know honey it is such a shame
You'll never be any good at this game
You bruise too easily so said Mary"
Closely followed by
"No amount of poetry can mend this broken heart
but you can put the hoover round if you want to make a start"
But then not forgetting
"Does she still love me
She still has my door key"
His latest stuff is still good but there is something personal and vulnerable in this lp that is now missing
The Short Answer - Billy Bragg