Where to start? Well, I'll start by explaining that this review is possibly on an equal torture level for me as our illustrious leader having to review that Blur album.
I honestly really hate Pete Docherty. (I'm spelling it wrong on purpose). I could happily punch him in the face for hours.
Not looking positive so far is it?
Well this here album is the third release from his band Babyshambles. I hate that name for a band. It sucks. It's called 'Sequel to the Prequel', which is a shitty name for an album too. It might as well be called 'The Second Album', or 'The Album After The One Before This One'. I just think it's stupid, ok? It's not clever. And Pete Doherty (there, correct now) is not clever, despite what the media will tell you. He's is not a tortured genius, a la Richey Edwards (he had a letter published in NME about the subject. It was very ironic and pretentious, Google it). He is a fucking stupid idiotic and yes, pretentious, loser. I wish to God he had fallen to the curse of the 27 Club.
So what's the album like then?
Well here's the shitty cover art. It's by Damien Hirst or something. Figures. Pretentious twat. For the record, I think my hatred for Pete (apparently he likes to be called Peter now) Doherty stems from the same reasons I was against Arctic Monkeys. Plus the fact that he was such a dick.
Anyway, I got this album on Deezer. I'd never give my money to this guy, as it would go up his nose or into his veins. Now, the Deezer app on my phone insisted on shuffling this album for me on first listen. I lasted 3 tracks, before I ran to my toolbox and hammered nine inch nails into each one of my eyelids (thanks Eminem) and both my ears. Well, not really, but I wanted to.
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That's right, I left this review alone for days. I dreaded doing it that much. The three tracks I listened to were 'Fireman' (far too jangly and accenty) 'New Pair' (about needing new shoes and sunglasses) and the title track (annoyingly catchy, sounds like Bob Dylan).
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I actually left this review for ages again. I've listened to the full album a few times now, and listened in full again today when I went shopping. So I will now have a go at a review. After humming and haarring for so long, and procrastinating like a professional, here it goes:
Now, I'll confess I know little about Babyshambles. I did that on purpose. I became aware of Doherty during the puplicised falling out of The Libertines. I avoided Doherty's solo attempts, as well as Babyshambles. So I'm new to Babyshambles. Man, as a group, off their faces or on (it's hard to tell on some tracks) they can play. And musically, it's not bad in places. It seems (I do research) that bassist and backing vocalist Drew McConnell dragged the band through this album. The guy had a huge cycling accident in 2011, and it seems like getting this album done has been his focus. Setting Doherty's half baked ideas and rambling poetic vocals to music must be quite hard. Ask Carl Barât.
Well, the album sucks. I guess I don't like the scuzzy, cheaply lo-fi sound to it, nor do I enjoy Doherty playing with himself like a twisted Peter Pan. I feel like any advance from EMI has been spent on smack, and this is being recorded cheaply. Not that it's bad, even. It's probably meant to sound like this.
Opener 'Fireman' tries really hard to be the short sharp mood setter. Fails. 'New Pair' is bollocks. 'Maybelline' is alright, and 'Dr No' I like. It's gloomy and reggae like, not as spiky as others on the record. 'Penguins' is stupid. There's a line about him not liking your boyfriend's face, and wanting to take his place. Not likely eh girls? It's all a bit too indie for me. It's produced by Stephen Street. Oh.
I kept finding myself appreciating this album, enjoying the playing. I felt a little bit like I do when I listen to Lostprophets now; semi-decent music from a frontman I absolutely loathe.
Anyway, I went away feeling a little bit like you do after listening to a Pulp record, a bit dirty but I wasn't happy about it. There's a tune called 'Picture Me In a Hospital' that has fiddly bits in. I like that song, and I like the title. I will picture you in a hospital, Peter.
2/10: If only there was some quality control.