Album review: Whatever’s Left by Grace Petrie and the Benefits Culture

Whatever’s Left by Grace Petrie and the Benefits Culture (www.gracepetrie.com)
Morning Star

Four stars

The latest album from the left-wing Leicester-born singer-songwriter is a stirring bulletin from the frontlines of the struggle against the rapacious British political elite.

Taking Morrissey’s advice, refreshingly Petrie goes beyond the Punch and Judy politics of Labour vs. Tories. After criticising Labour for their support of Workfare on You Pay Peanuts, You Get Monkeys (You Pay Nothing, You Get Nowt), on the title track she says that “The only red politics I’ve seen are Green.”

It’s not all politicking. Over her band’s folk-pop, Petrie sings of relationships gone wrong on The Last Love Song, a cutting kiss-off to a former infatuation, and the break-up blues The Heartbreak Handbook. Listen out too for cheeky musical nods to Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan.

One hesitates to use the cliché Voice of a Generation, but if anyone encapsulates the frustrations of life under Cameron its Petrie.

Superb.

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