Seasons come and seasons go, but Billy Bragg remains on the picket line of pop, with a placard in one hand and a guitar in the other. ‘The Million Things That Never Happened’ offers more carefully hewn analysis, yet its Autumnal country-rock feel – in part due to production from Magic Numbers’ Romeo Stodart – has an empathetic warmth that wraps around you like the embrace of an old friend.
‘Should Have Seen It Coming’ is a neat opener, while ‘Freedom Doesn’t Come For Free’ contains some universal wisdom. Often, the album is at its most striking when Billy Bragg keeps it simple – the subtle chord shift beneath ‘Pass It On’ for example, or the affecting ‘Lonesome Ocean’. A charming, timely return.
Words: Robin Murray
Dig This? Dig Deeper! Gram Parsons, Gillian Welch, The Magic Numbers
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