At the time of their release, Tom Paxton
's collections of topically satirical songs were quite entertaining, but over time, these albums do not hold up as well as those containing his serious ballads. As the album title implies, Bulletin
emphasizes the topical side, and some of these songs are funny and to the point, others sad and somber. Despite the satirical bent of much of this material, however, there isn't a particularly joyful feel to this album. The best tracks are "The Perfect Bomb," which supplies the answer for politicians who wish to spend money on weapons but don't want anyone to be hurt, and "A Truly Needy Family," a timely satire of the Reagan administration's economic policies. Also included here is "They Couldn't Take the Music," Paxton
's tribute to folk music forefather Woody Guthrie
. Other topics covered include gun proliferation, mortgage bankers and realtors, adoption, acid rain, and the plight of the working family. All are wrapped in Paxton
's singalong-style folk melodies.