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4.4 out of 5 stars28
4.4 out of 5 stars
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It would appear that young Mr Doherty has taken a little
time away from his demons (or at the very least, on the
basis of this, his solo debut release, they would appear
to be treating one another a little more kindly of late).

Poetic self-destruction has a long and noble legacy of course.
However,the latter-day rake and tormented romantic
pose was beginning to wear a bit thin.

The blood drawings were certainly never going to be his salvation.
Just fodder for another bad dealer making an opportunistic buck
on the back of his, very public, dissolution.

More show-off than Shelley. More brazen than Baudelaire.

Everyone loves a bad boy nonetheless and those of us who
retained some belief in this young man's abilities have
been rewarded for our patience.

The twelve compositions delivered in this new project do indeed prove,
if proof were needed, that Mr Doherty can indeed write and sing a song.

'Grace / Wastelands' is a very English affair. Willfully so.

Opening track 'Arcady' is, on the surface, a breezy affair but the
worm in the rose is never far away. Pretty perversity.

Single 'Last Of The English Roses' is magnificent.
A series of fragmented memories woven into a
captivating melody and a killer chorus.

The lyrical discourse of '1939 Returning' was a tad confusing
for this old Wolf but will almost certainly be understood immediately
by anyone else listening to it. A moody piece, well performed.

'A Little Death Around The Eyes' is another dark elegy.
The uncertain position of the storyteller in relation to
the subject is morally ambiguous and all the more disturbing
because of this.

'Salome' pins his desire for bohemian credibility to
the mast with flying colours ( and he wants it very badly!)

'I Am The Rain' is a somewhat lacklustre affair in comparison
with what has gone before.

Proceedings recover splendidly with 'Sweet By and By',
a wonderfully silly seaside postcard of a song which
demonstrates both a capacity for humour and a deeper,
more accomplished musicality.

'Palace Of Bone' contains echoes of many past troubadours.
A performance of light and shade and not insignificant power.

'Sheepskin Tearaway' is a sweet ballad, enhanced winningly by
Ms Allison's supporting vocal.

'Broken Love Song' gives our hero a chance to flex his tortured
emotional muscles and soar. It's a cracker !

'New Love Grows On Trees' is a confessional letter full
of sour memories and bitter reflection.
For my money the album's strongest track by a mile.

'Lady Don't Fall Backwards' brings the collection to a warm
and wistful close. A little hope. A small redemption.

All in all Mr Doherty has delivered a very fine piece of work here.

Mr Street's production skills fully understood the space that
these songs would need to breathe and make their mark.

They both deserve our respect and admiration.

Highly Recommended.
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on 28 February 2012
I love all the songs on this album. It's really rare but I think there's none I don't really appreciate.
I bought it and loved it immediately, after only one listening.
Don't try to find something resembling The Babyshambles or the Libertines in this CD........Doherty by himself is different. it's just perfect.
Can't wait for a new one
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 July 2015
Pete Doherty's well-published demons and addictions have unfairly seemed to overshadow his ample talents as a musician, and there is no justice there whatsoever, it should never have happened. In 2009 he released his debut album 'Grace/Wastelands', and it's a showcase of what an amazing singer/song-writer the frontman of the Libertines and Babyshambles really is. Please take a listen to this, and I defy you not to agree with me.

Once again, Pete enlisted the talents of Stephen Street, who has produced for Kaiser Chiefs, The Courteeners, and indeed Babyshambles. Before this, he had worked with such massive names as Blur, and Morrissey on his first album. He has done some sterling work in his long career, and I regard his production on 'Grace/Wastelands' as some of his absolute best. Also on board is Blur guitarist's Graham Coxon, who was heavily involved with the album, and plays guitar on every track apart from 'Broken Love Song'.

Pete's debut as a solo artist is topped and bottomed with some of his most meaningful and thought-provoking lyrics to date, and absolutely beautiful songs. A wise choice was made in giving the stunning 'Last of the English Roses' a first single release, but as there are so many excellent tunes here, such a decision can't have been an easy one. The second and final single was 'Broken Love Song', written about Pete's spell in prison, and these two, along with the acoustic '1939 Returning', and the tender 'Sheepskin Tearaway', with it's brilliant lyrics and wonderful melody, are my absolute favourites.

With 'Grace/Wastelands', we hear a very mellow side to the masterful musician, especially in comparison to the sound of The Libertines. He's a true poet, and his lurid headlines should never have upstaged this amazing debut solo record. I would love another one like this.
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on 22 March 2009
I have always liked Petes stuff, well most of it anyway. This album is by far the best work he has done. Lyrically faultless and very deep and meaningful. If you want acoustic melodies, genius lyrics then trust me this album is a must. It surpassed all my expectations, and gets better everytime i listen to it.
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on 24 April 2014
I chose 5 stars because I really enjoyed this Cd,if you like the work peter keeps bringing out I'm sure you won't be disappointed in this.its a little mellow compared to some of his other material,but that is what I really liked about it,perfect for kicking back and chilling out.and I have to say it has been produced really good.id recommend this to anyone into Peter D...Babyshambles,or just some really good acoustic guitar .well done peter another gem added to your growing list of great music.probably one of the last true genuine poets in our time.if anyone considering purchasing this Cd,just get it.you won't regret it.ENJOY.
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on 26 October 2012
This is the album I longed for Peter to write.
I was not disappointed. There are moments of aching poignancy and heartrending melancholy, yet there is wistfullness and hope here too.
It is simply sublime - I adored the Libertines and will do so forever - but this has a magic all of it's own. Lady Don't Fall Backwards and Sheepskin Tearaway are astonishingly beautiful, timeless & ethereal.
Contained within these songs there is wit, poetry & melody aplenty, but most of all there is charm.
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on 17 March 2009
This record has to be seen in perspective as part of a body of work and a step in the right direction. There's enough flashes of brilliance here to suggest a continuing and developing career...something that is all too rare these days.
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on 11 March 2009
The best album from Mr Doherty since the libertines were around. A much polished effort than many of his Babyshambles efforts but If you want an album of thrashing punk rock like The Libertines, Babyshambles or Dirty Pretty Things you're not going to get it. This album is full of raw acoustic melodies, reminiscent of French Romanticism yet full of English Patriotism.
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on 18 January 2015
Great album. Guy may have his demons but he is clearly talented. If you quite like Babyshambles and Libertines you'll enjoy this latest piece - much the same style but, as you'd expect, feels like it's incorporated more of a personal take from Pete in a lyrical sense. Cracking album, highly recommend for anybody with a love of Indy/Rock music.
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on 4 April 2016
Well i just bought this album for my husband and i must say, i cannot stop listening to it. Its simply beautiful. One of the best albums i have ever heard, its deep, its meaningful, its different. I am a huge Peter fan anyway, but i was still surprised at how good this album actually is. Poetic.
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