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Q magazine logo We Never had It So Good
  Q MAGAZINE - December 1990
"We Never Had It So Good"

(Musdisc 106661)
Rob Beattie

The hustling bass and snare riff of the title track announce Tom Robinson's first new studio album in four years - and he's still royally pissed off with the government, the tabloids, social and sexual intolerance, and England in general. The difference is that this collaboration with Polish guitarist Jakko Jakszyk has produced his most polished songwriting since War Baby, There are 10 new songs in all, with a couple (Tomboy and Kiss & Roll Over) co-written by Dan Hartman.

The result is a highly personal - and often bleak view of life in England in the 1990s. Driving Through The Desert sets the scene - a half spoken, half sung journey through a not-so-merry England that compares poorly, argues Robinson, to the England of the '50s he grew up in.

The single Blood Brother pursues a favourite theme of an estranged young man, and is supported by a lush Dave Stewart string score. The titles give the rest away - The Baby Rages On, Hard Cases, My Own Sweet Way - and there's a prodigious selection of talent helping out as well including Gavin Harrison, Danny Thompson and Pandit Dinesh from Dizrhythmia, and backing vocals from Sam Brown and Dan Hartman.

* * * *
[4 stars]

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