on 21 February 2015
This is probably Stephen Street's best production since "The Guitar And Other Machines" by The Durutti Column. I was surprised by how good the songs are on this, too. It's also a properly English-sounding record, and not in a forced on purpose kind of way. You can kind of tell that the producer and the band enjoy working with each other - punishing Martin Hannett stylee control desk this ain't, by the sounds of it.
I've always felt it a shame that because so much has been made of Pete Doherty's drink and drug lifestyle, the many lurid headlines always seem to overshadow his talents, and have made people forget what a genuinely talented artist he is. After six years away from the recording scene, he and his Babyshambles returned with this excellent album.
I will simply put, that if you are a fan of Pete's previous work, which was now varied and becoming quite extensive, you will not be disappointed by 'Sequel to the Prequel'. It contains the indie hits 'Nothing Comes to Nothing' and 'Fall From Grace', as well as some solid album tracks in 'New Pair' and 'Fireman'. As you can see for yourself, it also has a nice 1960s-isque cover, which is far from eye-catching than the one that was used previously for 'Shotter's Nation'.
For the second time, the band enlisted the talents of Stephen Street (the producer of Pete's impressive solo album 'Grace/Wasteland'), who has worked with many big-name English groups like The Smiths, Blur, and The Cranberries, and his work as producer here is simply excellent.
'Sequel to the Prequel' is typical for a Pete Doherty record, quirky, upbeat, and it's quality indie-quality music that seems practically designed to make you feel good. I'm a big fan, and long may Mr. Doherty continue to make such magic is all I can say.
on 6 September 2013
From the mind-blowing cover image by radical artist Damien Hurst to the closing demo-version of stand-out track, Dr No, this is a tour-de-force from Babyshambles.
How the so-called 'functioning' heroin addict, Pete the poet, can produce such a varied and exciting set of rocky, reggaefied, punky, folky, jazzy tunes is beyond belief. How does he do it?
The stand out tracks reveal something of the weight that our errant genius struggles under, though - in both 'Minefield' and 'Dr No' there is an intimation of the scary nature of addiction, 'there are sharks in the water and the water's deep' mutters poor old pete, and of course 'it's a minefield out there!' is not the chorus of a happy man. Still, for all that, many of the tracks are upbeat, fun and the lyrics witty. 'The Very Last Boy Alive', 'Stranger In My Own Skin' and 'Nothing Comes To Nothing' are all exemplary pop-rock songs, with great hooks and melodies, and a smattering of one-liners, lyrics that indicate a lively mind. Pengiuns for instance boasts the comedy line 'I really don't like your boyfriend's face/I'm going to try and take his place'.
For me, only the opening track Fireman seems dodgy, a throw back to an earlier punk ethos, where it was important to paint a deranged picture in sound rather than create great art. I think, because of this one misstep, that means that 'Shotters Nation' is still Babyshambles' strongest single piece of work, but when you hear mighty, rocking tracks like 'Picture Me In The Hospital', 'Fall From Grace' and 'Seven Shades' you might have to admit this is a masterful album. And funny little off-the cuff stuff like the Django Reinhardt-influenced 'After Hours' and the humorous title track are just the cherry on a rich, delicious and moreish many-layered musical cake!
on 29 February 2016
From the swishing skank of 'Dr No' to the Dylanesque 'Fall From Grace', the latest LP from Babyshambles is a myriad of musical genres. All nicely knotted together with a swinging ambience caught somewhere between late 60's Kinks and Sandanista era Clash and a whole lot more in between. (If that's possible)! It's very good anyway and you could do a lot worse for the price. The cover of the VU's 'After Hours' is a perfect choice of cover on the bonus disc too. I write this as a confessing band wagon jumper by the way. But playing catch up can be good crack when it is as entertaining as this.
on 16 October 2013
Im not surprised its an album full of very good songs and has a lot of different influences from Punk to Folk but i am surprised at how enjoyable it all is and how together the band sound.
Softer overall but thats mainly to do with a good cast of players and vocals very at ease with brilliant lyrics and melodies.
One of the best albums this year for me.
Beady Eye - BE
Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
Babyshambles - Sequel to the Prequel
All bloody brilliant albums in 2013.
on 5 June 2015
This record came in the post today, from first looks of it the matt finish and the custom designed sleeve made my day, it is such a nice product to own, the clear vinyl looks fantastic and is a really clear sound, the cd and the poster is a really nice added bonus, i found on the plastic film on the cover it comes with a sticker. Petes vocals on it are unbelievable and a lot of the songs are beautiful.
on 17 October 2013
Okay I love Babyshambles and even though I think I prefer The Libertines, Down in Albion will remain my favourite CD out of both bands. This CD was really good but I didn't feel it was as great as past albums. Also the cracked case made me sad.
All in all: great band, good album (and wonderful cover art by one of my favourite artists!)
Well, he's back. Who would have thought it? I'm not sure that I would, but I guess it just goes to show that hanging out in Paris (as I understand he's been doing) must do great things for the creative juices. Oh, and also some encouragement from Mozza's old mucker, Stephen Street, who has not only coaxed a great sound from Mr Doherty's reassembled combo, but also assumes supporting musician and co-songwriting duties (the latter on one of the album's greatest 'hooks').
Of course, what is so great about any Doherty band is that from their very (Baby)shambolic-ness (OK, I know there's no such word) emanates great creativity - which is why I'm sure Mick Jones was drawn to The Libertines in the first place (I mean you only had to watch Jones on stage at early Clash gigs constantly tuning his guitar!). Here, my first listening to Doherty's latest raised my hopes sky high, kicking off with Fireman, a sub-two minute powerhouse of a song, peppered with Doherty's idiosyncratic and hilariously poetic lyrics ('I am a fireman, I live in a Lisbon bus shelter, I am a fireman, Satan's little helper') and then following with the magnificent guitar hook of Nothing Comes To Nothing. Of course, my expectations were then tempered somewhat by what follows, but I only needed to give it some time.
Ten or so listens later and I'm back on cloud nine. Now I'm thinking there's virtually no weak songs here (even the slight meanderings of New Pair have the clever lyrical morphing of 'pair son' to 'person'). On the slightly less conventional side we have the moody, reggae-inflected Dr No (featuring some nice melodica playing from Stephen Large), the dynamically inventive take on spurned love of Penguins and the infectious rolling bar blues of the album's title song (it could quite literally have been taken straight from a Chas n' Dave songbook). Subtle melody (one of Doherty's particular strong-points) are to the fore on Fall From Grace, (the rather fatalistic, but defiant) Picture Me In A Hospital and Farmer's Daughter (the latter with its great, soaring chorus) and, if it's riffs you're after, each of Maybelline and Seven Shades (with its 'ironic' reference of out-of-tune guitar strings) should do nicely. That only leaves album closer Minefield, intended no doubt to be something of an album tour-de-force and, with its powerful sound accompanying Doherty's (no doubt well learned) tale of the need to be wary against existential threats, it just about fits the bill.
Doherty follows his set of quirky and poetic lyrics with his album sleeve thanks, citing the great Stan Bowles (ah, that sweet left foot!) - but I would have to ask what happened to Tony Currie and Duncan McKenzie? The greatest rock and roll album ever? Er, no - but a fine return, nevertheless.
on 27 September 2013
Excellent album with very little filler (I can't think of any off the top of my head).
More "Poppy" than Shotters Nation and very easy to listen to.
Hopefully Pete will stay sober enough to do more music.
on 4 October 2013
I choose a 5 star rating because i pre-orderd it and it was on the doorstep before I expected it to be. Its a great album and the artwork is beautiful. A must have on vinyl for all Babyshambles Fans.