Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Alternative Press
    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. 90
    Injecting the best aspects of Americana to Bragg's inherently British approach makes this one of the early contenders for folk-rock album of the year.
  3. Magnet
    As his politics become more complex, his writing has grown subtler, the melodies more sophisticated and the lyrics more richly detailed. [#53, p.72]
  4. Uncut
    An album that proves he's worthy of the legacy he cherishes. [Apr 2002, p.102]
  5. As ever, he's on point, and brilliant.
  6. The Blokes have evolved into a dynamite backup band, folding Bragg's own lyrics into tight jams at every opportunity.
  7. Mojo
    This is Billy Bragg as known and loved by many. The difference comes from the never more buoyant Blokes. [Mar 2002, p.114]
  8. Spin
    England's exoticism is offset by plenty of tough and tender ballads, and even the most stridently worldbeat numbers are joyous, well-made, and never patronizing. [Apr 2002, p.117]
  9. Q Magazine
    The result is almost entirely vaudevillian. [Mar 2002, p.116]
  10. His pontification gets in the way of his songwriting.
  11. Unfortunately, his own lyrics are best when they're intimate and pointed, which they rarely are here.
  12. Bragg and The Blokes' delivery sounds just as dated as the social traditions they lampoon.
  13. Blender
    Here the pleas and tirades strive heavy-handedly, little aided by the Blokes' equally unsubtle barroom marches. [Apr/May 2002, p.112]
  14. While his rhetoric remains fiery, the material is weak.
  15. This is a genuinely dreadful album.
  16. Lyrically, I suspect that part of the problem is rust, while part of the problem is age — a song about bumping into an ex-girlfriend, then coming home to tell the wife about it ("Jane Allen") just doesn't stick to the ribs, while the more overtly political numbers feel heavy-handed and preachy.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  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 hisHaving 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. Full Review »