2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not The Shambles You Were Led To Believe,
This review is from: Down in Albion (Audio CD)
Every once in a while over the past few decades has come a rock star that's clearly talented but yet has a kamikaze lifestyle that seems to be more intriguing than the average band going out there. Example being Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders and Keith Moon led lifestyles that whilst weren't inspirational, they changed the picture of music forever and became icons in their own rights.
Although it may be wrong to put Pete Doherty in the same context as these `punk' legends, there's a feeling his lifestyle will soon become one of legendary status. The press coverage over the past years has certainly thrown his personal life into turmoil and what makes it a shame is the fact as a musician he's amazingly skilled, but yet cause of his personal issues, he's looked at people as nothing more than a drug addict.
Babyshambles' debut album `Down in Albion', was released this time last year to extremely criticising reviews from many music publications, claiming it to be the nail on Doherty's own personal coffin, but those who actually attempt to listen to this album will notice a genius is at work here.
Grittier and heavier than The Libertines, `Down in Albion' is sixteen tracks of heavy riffs, acoustic ballads, sing-a-long tunes and great poetic work. Produced by Mick Jones, the Clash's guitarist creates this sound that feels unedited and more genuine than most albums that were released that year. Lead single Killamangiro hinted at the old Libertines sound, and the follow-up F*ck Forever became one of the nation's biggest songs reaching the top 5.
Everything from the `scrapbook' lyric booklet, the shoddy front and back covers gives the impression of a band not looking for mass attention but just wanting to create some good songs and good songs they do create. Opening with `La Belle Et La BÍte', the group come with this simple catchy tune wrapped around a duet between one of biggest couple's in Doherty and Kate Moss, which surprisingly works considering most celebrities are clearly no good in this field. `A'rebors', `Sticks and Stones' and `Pentonville' specifically have strong reggae influence that gives a nice relaxed feeling throughout whilst songs like `What Katy Did Next', `In Love With A Feeling' and `Loyalty Song' are some of the catchiest on the album.
Of course the biggest rock songs on `Down in Albion' have to got to be `Pipedown' and `8 Dead Boys', there's no reason why they are, but you'll soon realise why they are so damn good. By the time the album ends on the anthem sounds of `Up The Morning' and the bittersweet `Merry Go-Round', there's no denying that Doherty deserves more credit than he gets.
If all goes well, hopefully Doherty will release that next record and maybe he'll regain everything that he lost through all his addictions. Clearly not as bad as many people would make you believe, give it a try.