England, Half English Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: After recording two well-received albums of Woody Guthrie covers with Wilco, the anti-folk pioneer returns to recording original material, this time with his touring band, the Blokes.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Feels like a jam session--bluesy keyboard lines and guitar riffs busk with soul-inflected harmonies, world-music percussion and complex, exotic rhythms. [Apr 2002, p.68]
  2. 80
    As his politics become more complex, his writing has grown subtler, the melodies more sophisticated and the lyrics more richly detailed. [#53, p.72]
  3. As ever, he's on point, and brilliant.
  4. The result is almost entirely vaudevillian. [Mar 2002, p.116]
  5. Unfortunately, his own lyrics are best when they're intimate and pointed, which they rarely are here.
  6. 40
    Here the pleas and tirades strive heavy-handedly, little aided by the Blokes' equally unsubtle barroom marches. [Apr/May 2002, p.112]
  7. This is a genuinely dreadful album.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 11, 2013
    Having taken an extended break to work on the Mermaid Avenue project, England Half English sees Bragg's work highly influenced by his experiences with the roots of American folk over the previous 8 years or so. Here more than ever before there is an obvious and understandable Guthry feel to his material. The record while missing some of the dynamicism of his best work is solid through out and is only a couple of stronger tracks short of being excellent. Refreshing to hear him sticking to his principles as he gets older no sign of him mellowing. "Jane Allen" and "Take Down The Union Jack" are my favourite tracks off the record. Expand