Ted Leo has been a musical force for as long as I can remember whether it's doing all request cover sets at Brown with Chisel or doing solo Lungfish covers with his crazy tape machines. Impeccable taste in music and musical talent to back up his record collection. Whether it's Mayfield, Ruts, Dischord he seems to sample the best of music history. He also maintains a good site and blog. There are a handful of bands and artists that I support no question and Ted is one. So a record review is going to be biased, but who cares this is what he is up to. 15 new songs and an additional 5 song ep. The politics of the day and state of affairs in the world weight heavy on his mind.
Some more overtly anglo-file touches whether dub or nervous anglo-funk collide with some extremely catchy riffs and choruses that sound like US power pop and maybe even a little Springsteen (or maybe Rick Springfield since there is no sax. Alright that's not fair but listen to track #3). Also seems to give a nod back to DC more clearly than some of his other records. Like all his records the songs are catchy and sneak up on you if they don't grab you right away.
In a fucked up world it is easy to write cynical songs. It takes a strong person to keep cranking out anthems and smart, hopeful songs while not ignoring what's going on.