CD Review: Heaven on Earth by Tim Bragg

Heaven on Earth CoverNo, not Billy Bragg! Tim Bragg is not the defanged socialist turned New Labour mouthpiece once known as the Bard of Barking. He’s much more insightful than his clapped out namesake.

Heaven on Earth reminds me of Van Morrison in his Avalon Sunset phase. He has the same haunting melodies; the same cry in the voice as Van the Man. I don’t know if Tim Bragg is consciously imitating the big lad from Orangefield. I rather doubt it, but the connection is clear. Add the backing clarinets, acoustic rhythm and electric guitars and keyboards and you have a varied but consistent whole.

Some outstanding tracks on this fine album do deserve to be singled out. My favourites are Kick out the Fancy Stuff, Soul-searching and Of Doubts and God. These songs are Bragg’s religious and spiritual musings. He is soul-searching. He is looking for a meaning to life. Perhaps the Man from Galilee has the answer to his questions but just like Doubting Thomas he has to see. He’s not one for leaps in the dark. This is thoughtful stuff: it is more about doubt than faith, more about the search for truth rather than the claim to have found it. The production values on Heaven on Earth are very high. It’s just such a shame that the publisher didn’t see the need to provide the song lyrics with the sleeve notes. Perhaps this oversight will be remedied when the second pressing comes out. Check out cd baby for some sample tracks.

Reviewed by David Kerr

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