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97
4.2 out of 5 stars
The Libertines
Format: Audio CDChange
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2004
At a first listen I thought this could never live up to 'Up the Bracket' - which had been my favourite album of all time. Now it's changed: when I'm happy 'Up the Bracket' is my favourite album, when I'm sad 'The Libertines' is.
The Libertines is heartbreaking if you know the story of Pete and Carl. It is a history of the libertines, songs that in demos used to be happy and uplifting such as "Music when the Lights go Out" and "What Katie Did" are tear-jerking, especially the former. The album makes me want to cry sometimes, but I've always thought that's a good thing in music. Anything that can evoke such a strong emotion in me is fantastic. 'Can't Stand me now' and 'What Became of the Likely Lads' are Pete and Carl's story, and 'The Saga' shows how Pete's drug addiction is spiralling out of control. He sings "i ain't got a problem - it's you with the problem!". The following track Road to Ruin is Carl's response to that, trying to make him see that "all you can be, is right here in your hands".
I highly recommend this album to anyone.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2004
The first single from this album seemed to sum up the fractured state of the libertines as they appeared to be falling apart at the seams but this album would be a sad end if it were their last. Returning to what must be the most brutally honest production ever, the songs remain as vibrant and alive the fiftieth time you hear them. Even the initially dull "Don't be shy", which sounds like little more than a demo of a jam takes on a new life after repeated listens. "Music when the lights go out" is one of the most evocative "end of the night" songs I've ever played as a D.J. and there are storming rock 'n' roll chunks in the likes of "Tomblands" (particularly notable for what the Libs do best i.e. blur the lines between archaic music and lyrics and a cynical view of the state of the nation). It's not quite as punchy as the first but shows the first few steps towards progression. I only hope for us all that they continue to use the blueprint of Clash/Smiths and deliver on their potential. They have finally proven worthy of being more than just the london strokes and if Pete can make it through they could produce a canon of work to rival any English band.
Buy it, if only to encourage them to keep going.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Libertines' self entitled second and final album was an excellent follow up to 'Up The Bracket', I'm still not sure if it is superior, despite being more successful, but it's definitely five star worthy.

The album instantly reached the top spot in the UK and contains the band's biggest hit 'Can't Stand Me Now' and their final single 'What Became of the Likely Lads'. There is quite a sadness to this album which the debut didn't really have, as most of the songs tell the story of the volatile relationship between the band's singer/guitarist front men Carl Barât and Pete Doherty. The lyrics are obviously then more heartfelt, some tracks have a much more melodic style, but a lot of the songs remain as catchy as ever, notably 'What Katie Did'.

'What Became Of The Likely Lads' is one of The Libertines' best songs, and the perfect way to close the album out. The track is most fitting, essentially it's a happy tune, upbeat and jolly, but when you concentrate on the lyrics, you'll realise how touching it is considering the back story. The nostalgic lyrics are filled with moments of bitterness and sadness, and refer to the breakdown of the friendship between Pete and Carl, and the subsequent collapse of The Libertines.

I think that this album was certainly a grower (for me at least), it was after all going to be hard to make an album of the same standard as the debut, but with 'The Libertines', I think they just about succeeded. Whilst it's a shame that only two albums were made, this influential band made some of the best indie music of the day, and started the whole revival of the British rock scene. A great achievement!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2005
Released in a blaze of publicity, but for all the wrong reasons, The Libertines self titled second album (and now, probably their last) flew off the shelves to Number 1 in its first week.
The reason? Well, the hype of a second album from a band whose first album was something close to genius; refreshing, raw, energetic, original and innovative meant expectations were ripe and ready to be fulfilled. And they almost are.
A different mood emerges from this LP; a more poignant and reflective outlook, in both the music and lyrics. What Katie Did, Road to Ruin, Last Post on the Bugle represent the new downbeat attitude The Libertines have to overcome. And, with tearing, frantic pace, songs such as The Saga and Narcissist take you by the hand whirling back into the frenzied world of The Libertines, in search of Arcadia.
Despite this, the anthems follow suit from Up the Bracket, a perfect continuation of the raw guitar parts and vocal lines. With the pounding Can't Stand me Now, bluesy Don't be Shy, deflating Ha Ha Wall; it's as if the vision of Arcadia so bright in Up the Bracket has dimmed as The Libertines have struggled. But yet, with this LP, there's still hope.
Song for song, perhaps, The Libertines isn't the album that Up the Bracket was. The music may be more melancholic at times, but still the albion sails on course - destination unknown. What became of forever? We might never know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2012
Figuratively speaking, this album takes anyone fortunate enough to clap their lug-holes upon it's masterful set of obtuse sound-snippets, upon a journey to the very edge of the mind's anus, taking several nights off to bide in the quite filthy musical motels that are the very centre-point of said jaunt towards this particular musculus sphincter.

Right from the off it becomes clear to all enjoying this rollicking great banquet of audio caviar, that what one is experiencing is a gluttonous, vociferous cacophony of rectum-influenced thoroughfare that can only really be compared to a man made entirely from empty milk cartons trying to climb up a street lamp but failing miserably due to the fact that milk carton material just does not have the sufficient grip upon it's exterior to aid a such-forth character to ascend your standard street illuminator. Despite the recurring setbacks suffered by our dairy heavy individual, he still gallantly claws, gropes, grasps and lunges for the errect stem of the urban light bringer as he is hell bent on making his way to the very bulb of it's upper casing.

A final point about this CD is that it really doesn't share many similarities to Dimmu Brrgir's black metal opus "Spiritual Black Dimensions".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2004
the libertines second album is an absolute belter dont let anyone tell u different, if u enjoyed up the bracket then youlle like this. ofcourse thats not to say that this record is anything like up the bracket but u can tell straight away this is the libertines. the sound has evolved quite a bit, there isnt as much of a punk rock sound there, but the songs are still brilliant. cant stand me now, is typical libetertines with catchy lyrics and hooks. then theres man who would be king, different to anything theyve done before but equally brilliant. the libs also include some slow burners such as mucis when the lights go out and the legendary what katie did, which are both so much better than the acoustic jangle of radio america from up the bracket. the lyrics on this album are once again exceptional and ten times better then anything else around at the moment. the album is consistently good and finishes on a hight with one of the libs best efforts yet, "what became of the likely lads". overall a brilliant second album from the libs and one which will most likely see them become the biggest band in the country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2004
I feel that this album would have largely benefited from the production of Bernard Butler instead of Mick Jones, as the rough-and-ready sound got a little grating at times. This said however the album would probably not have been made if this was the case as Mick Jones really held the band together (and Pete didnt get on with Bernard). I felt slightly disapointed as I feel that many of the demos i have are better than their counterparts on the album. I was particularly disapointed that 'music when the lights go out' had the strings section removed as that really was amazing. It takes a few listens to love it, but it is wonderfully honest and revealing. My personal favourites were; tomblands, the saga and what katie did. The lyrics are, as ever, hauntingly beautiful. Like many others i still prefer 'Up the Bracket' but it would be nigh impossible to better it. x hannah, 15.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2004
That I have managed to give this album four stars is testament to the strength of the libertines true qualities. Pete Doherty and Carl Barat possess a rare and precious songwriting talent. Coupling sublime melodies with alternately witty and heartfelt lyrics the sound of the Libertines is infectious, it makes you wonder why everyone doesn't write songs this way.
A main factor in the band's sound is the love/hate dynamic between the two co-frontmen. Anyone who has seen the Libertines live will have witnessed the amazing energy the two have, when they are feeding off one another. The problem on their second album is that one part of the partnership is not pulling his weight, namely Pete Doherty. Having grown to love a lot of the songs on the album after hearing them live or in demo form, it was a massive disappointment when I first heard the album versions.
Doherty slurs his way through "Don't be shy", robbing it of the urgency that made it so appealing at first. "Music when the lights go out" was wonderful in demo form, mainly down to a 1940s-style cello part. On the album version this has been removed and the pace has been quickened, giving the song an anodyne feel. When I first heard "Can't stand me now" I thought it was the best thing they'd ever done, but the slapdash way in which it has been produced fails to portray the subtle changes in melody and the charm of the vocal sparring between Doherty and Barat. Why Mick Jones was given production duties rather than Bernard Butler, who presided over "What a waster" and "Don't look back into the sun" is beyond me.
The album is still leaps and bounds ahead of pretty much everything else around at the moment. You can still hear the quality at the core of the songs, even though the production and Doherty's unfortunate state of health have had a detrimental effect over the album as a whole. On a positive note, the album portrays the rise in confidence of Carl Barat. Primarily a guitarist on the first record, Barat really finds his voice on The Libertines. In the songs with both on vocals, Barat often seems to be carrying his friend. In fact most of the stand out songs on the album are fronted by Barat; the turbo-charged "narcissist" and the anthemic "road to ruin" to name but two.
The real high point, and the song that sums up the whole Libertines pantomime is the magnificent "What became of the likely lads?" Fittingly, perhaps,the question is rhetorical.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2004
This album grows on you everytime you listen to it and it is possibly even better than Up The Bracket! The Libertines have matured not only in their music but also as people since the release of their debut album. Cant Stand Me, their first single off the album is catchy and in the classic libertines style and it is about the spiky relationship between Peter and Carl ("You shut me out and you blamed it on the brown") which is what most of this album is about with songs such as Campaign of Hate, What Became of the Likely Lads and The Saga. What Katie Did is one of the catchiest pop tunes i have ever heard but it is full of heartache as it is based on a girl who got lost in drugs, which has lots of references in this album, as it did in Up the Bracket.
Im just glad that Pete and Carl managed to put their problems behind them to finish this amazing album!
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The Amazon review speaks of 'mythology' threatening to overshadow the actual musical quality of an album, but in this case the so called mythology of the libertines comes across so sincerely that I wouldn't agree that it 'struggles' to stand up to Up the Bracket, and would argue is so encapsulating that The Libertines should be considered one of the great British indie albums. Can't Stand Me Now is one of the most brilliantly honest, brutal and tragic pop anthems of all time, yet manages to convey the misery and fatalism of the lyrics with a beautifully constructed melody, managing to encompass the self - destruction and talent that made The Libertines probably the greatest English band thus far in the 21st century. Yet it doesn't stand alone, as there is a superb blend of beautiful, melancholy songs (such as What Became of the Likely Lads, Music When the Lights go out) which will forever be associated with the band's implosion, and the more euphoric, punkier songs which entraced a nation in Up the Bracket (such as Narcissist, Campaign of Hate and Arbeit Macht Frei). Even the looser moments of the album have immense charm and value, with the slightly looser songs such as The Saga, Road to Ruin and Don't Be Shy being given immense value thanks to the lyrical brilliance of Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, whose songwriting skills and wordsmitery are suberb throughout. Those who focus on the scratchy, DIY production are ultimately misunderstanding the ethos and ultimate tragedy of both the band and the album, and are missing out on perhaps the greatest British album of our generation.
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