Sound — 10
To me Joe Strummer was the prophet-like, electric-leg stomping front man of the Clash who initially made me get into music and start playing guitar. After listening to his post-Clash work with the Mescaleros (and especially "Global A Go-Go") I can say my viewpoint of the man has significantly changed, for the better. Strummer, accompanied by his old busking friend from the '70s Tymon Dogg on fiddle, along some of Britain's finest musicians do not limit themselves into one genre for the second Mescaleros Album. When you pick it up expect a Rock 'n' Rollin'-Alternative-Urban-Folk experience. Toe tappers such as "Johnny Appleseed" work in perfectly with alt-rock and traditional numbers, and the range of instruments utilized by the band do add an edge to the overall well-rounded sound.
Lyrics — 10
At some stages it can be hard to believe the man who penned the lyrics to Global A Go-Go was the same man who wrote "White Riot" thirty years ago. Although the lyrics might not be as blatant as those of his early Clash days, he does not relent in providing a narrative and possible solutions to the political and social aspects of the world around him. The lines "If you're out to get the honey/Don't Go Killing All the Bees" in the chorus of 'Johnny Appleseed' offer the same sound advice that may be expected of Joe from a Clash fan. 'Shaktar Donetsk', named after the football team, refers to the illegal migration of Eastern Europeans to Britain, and 'Bhindi Bhagee' describes multiculturalism in modern society (described through the unlikely medium of fast food). Joe really does provide incredibly powerful (whilst also poetic) lyrics whilst staying true to himself and his values.
Overall Impression — 10
I believe this is the most well rounded and complete Mescaleros album which also has the 'Strummer' stamp firmly embedded on the entire project, in contrast to "Rock Art and the X-Ray Style" which was written over a number of years and "Streetcore" completed without Joe due to his death in late 2002. I can see nothing which could be done to improve the album, except possibly reducing the length of the final track (the traditional Irish piece "The Minstrel Boy," spanning a whopping eighteen minutes). Overall it's definitely worth buying, a true masterpiece from a legend of music.