Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

THE PROCLAIMERS

LIFE WITH YOU

2008-05-06

The Reid brothers check in with another disc of buoyant pop that helps their thoughtful, pointed lyrics slide down before you know what hits you. With finely tuned social antennae they take on everything from the hypocrisy of anti-establishment rock stars lining up to be knighted, "In Recognition", to the folly of grabbing onto the religion of the day in the search for salvation, "New Religion", the common failure to look internally for the source of your problems, "No One Left to Blame", and the fake masculinity of musicians who reveal their own weakness by bashing women, "Here it Comes Again". [no play]. They also take aim at former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, with the scathing, "S-O-R-R-Y", where they demand an apology for his role in leading England into the Iraq quagmire. War makes another appearance on "The Long Haul", where they yearn for the good ole’ days when the battle lines were between “godless communists” and the rest of the world instead of today’s ideologically complex mix of religions and the rising tide of Islam. Religion also fuels "If There’s A God" where they try to reconcile the evil and suffering of the world with a higher power that has the ability to prevent such things. Once they’ve gotten all that off their chests, they turn to matters of the heart on the title track, the rocking "Whole Wide World" and on "Blood Lying on Snow" which isn’t the diabolical tale the title suggests but, instead, is an homage to the contrast between a lover’s red dress and her pale Celtic skin. Don’t be fooled by the pop music fueling these tracks. The Reid brothers are every bit as witty and biting as Elvis Costello or Billy Bragg. Smitty

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