Mermaid Avenue Vol. III
Opening with the lethargic "Bugeye Jim," the third installment of Billy Bragg's collaboration with Wilco doesn't exactly storm out of the gate, but III enjoys the same singular air of its predecessors. It's a bit more rough-cut, but these aren't picked over scraps, either. The rollicking second-line groove, elegant harmony and anti-establishment theme of "My Thirty Thousand" would make it a worthy B-side to "California Stars." Take note of the ballads -- be they bitter or bucolic -- especially the Tweedy-led "Listening To The Wind That Blows" and the grinding "Be Kind To The Boy On The Road."