- Audio CD (30 Jun. 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Virgin EMI
- ASIN: B0018CWW3M
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Romance at Short Notice CD
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The good news first: the second offering from this band since Messrs Barat and Doherty parted company and began their quest to find the worst band names in the world is a crisp, polished collection of tuneful japery and pithy urban commentary. So what makes this vaguely disappointing overall?
The album is brim with dazzling time signature jiggery pokery, like the fairground whooze of opener, Buzzards And Crows, as well as the semi-literary allusions to old Albion on Tired Of England; though Barat's vision has on very London-centric goggles, borrowing from Samuel Johnson's old adage. His wordiness is witty and spry, but sometimes one can't help feeling that he's overcompensating for a certain missing lyricist. Not only that, but the spray of words on tracks like Truth Begins smacks too much of Alex Turner's more verbose moments. You can't help but be disappointed by a band who seem to be eclipsed by their peers. Best Face tries to weld a Battles/Vampire Weekend post/math rock to Barat's Clash-like punk rush, but while it's impressively played it falls short of a seamless whole.
On this note it's interesting to note how this album exhibits a studied competence that betrays how far they've come as a unit. Far from shambolic (or stymied by alcohol-fuelled bone breakages), at the heart of Romance At Short Notice is a cheerily efficient pop heart. Like their debut, every track sports ragged, squally tops and tails, but when things get going the chaos is revealed as being actually very together. Only on Chinese Dogs and the stubbornly dissonant Faultlines does it seem that the music matches the usual tales of dissolution and disillusion. Carl's ragged roar on Hippy's Son is also suitably bile-spewing.
Yet, a little too often the jauntiness puts you in mind of those jolly fillers that Oasis used to stick on their albums to make up the numbers. Plastic Hearts 'La-la-la's will sound great at that sweaty gig, but grate in studio-bound form. Maybe Carl and P***'s chapter in Britpop has truly passed. But it would be a shame to see a band as lithe and keen as DPT sound here wilt into obscurity. Romance At Short Notice shows them just beginning to really find a voice. --Jerome Blakeney
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Top Customer Reviews
I think that the real problem is that people love to slag off Pete Doherty on account of his drug issues, but somehow, Carl Barat is not really forgiven for NOT being Pete Doherty and too many comparisons are made by many. The fact is, he writes good lyrics, good tunes and has a strong voice and great stage presence and energy. Having had the pleasure of meeting him on a wet evening at a provincial gig recently when he happily chatted to the fans waiting outside in the rain and posed for endless photos ; he has no inflated ego issues either. Instead of grabbing the headlines through his lifestyle like Pete, he is quietly getting on with it and I wish him luck. He is doing his own thing, he is not Pete Doherty or The Libs so please stop comparing him and give him credit for what he does!
Romance at Short Notice is an obvious progression in style and delivery. The album loses some of the raw appeal of the previous attempt with a slicker studio production and I think this is the main problem. There are still good tracks on the album but the whole thing feels slightly disjointed with more ideas floating round and a mismatch of styles conflicting. The song writing came from other members of the band this time and I don't think this was the wisest thing , as part of the Libertine-esque raucousness has disappeared with it.
The singles are still good, "Tired Of England" is a commentary on the state of of the country and does a good job to paint pictures with words in the same style as the Jam and the Smiths managed 20 years previous. "Kicks or Consumption" is also another highlight, I prefer their uptempo moments and between the album fodder there are gems.
If the band get past this album and return to true form and some point in the future release a best of, I would imagine this album is largely forgotten apart from the one or two singles released from it.
*** Like: Libertines, The Jam, The Kinks, Razorlight ***
This album shows the Dirty Pretty Things find a slightly calmer sound while still keeping that angry, exciting energy.
So all in this is a very successful second album and i think they have not fallen into the trap of producing poor quality second albums. This album shows the Dirty Pretty things find their style.
Nice to hear more of the others singing as well, particularly anthony, who has an excellent voice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good album, just not the Libertines. Couple of quality tracks all the same.Published 14 months ago by Paul Joiner
I loved the liberteens and Pete Dorety is a ledgand - an incredible song wirter/lyricist so there is something lacking from Dirty Pretty Things when you compare it to how it used... Read morePublished on 8 May 2011 by Katie
I dont normally write reviews, but sometimes a band comes along that remains largely under-rated and dont get the praise they deserve - DPT are one of those bands. Read morePublished on 13 July 2008 by N. Robinson