Whoever decided to devote not just one record, but an entire label to the genius of Edward Ball deserves a medal or Nobel Peace Prize, or something of that magnitude. In the halls of pop music in the U.K., Ball is a woefully underrated genius whose output deserves a second look over. Here's to Old England is a 20-song compilation taking moments from his tenure in such important post-punk groups as Teenage Filmstars and O Level, as well as solo tracks and his tenure in Britpop band the Times. But throughout the phases and changes in the pop music landscape, Ball's songwriting and vocal delivery remained honest and potent, crafting simple songs with catchy melodies and lyrics that stick for days like rubber cement. He's no Jonathan King, and that's definitely a good thing, because these aren't just pop songs for the sake of pop music, these are beautiful works of art. Here's hoping the next installments aren't too far behind and in the works.
AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston