25 October 2005

babyshambles - "albion" (from the down in albion lp, import available for preorder here.)
littl'ans feat. pete doherty - "their way" (from the their way single, import available for purchase here.)

in brief : b/c pete also wonders what you're up to.

mick jones and all that aside, the libertines always reminded me of the jam, all flag-waving and self-involved, for our a.d.d. times, a career condensed into an album and a valedictory single, "don't look back into the sun" as their "beat surrender"--only they had to go and ruin it w/ that second album.

doherty has moved on to babyshambles--one-half of that name right all the time, the other half, part of the time--but, alas, they're no style council. "albion," though, is a bit like solo weller, w/ echoes of "that's entertainment" and "english rose." the opening, w/ its knocks on a door and background noise, is a bit like the temptations' "psychedelic shack," itself a revisitation of the band's past; fitting, since "albion" isn't merely a look back to weller, but to the england of ancient times (fitting again, since doherty himself has become something of a myth). such themes--"gin in tea cups and leaves on the lawn, violence in bus stops and pale thin girls with eyes forlorn"--aren't new to doherty, but this manner of presentation is. given pete's nocturnal habits, one imagines that he has nights like these, all bleary-eyed and sentimental, willing to pay for your way for good conversation. it is perhaps a sign that he's becoming sensible in his older age, a welcome one at that. if he can steer clear of ocean colour scene, the boy might yet turn out okay.

"their way," too, is a revisitation of the past, of the second album's "what katy did" (which doherty revisits on the babyshambles album, w/ "what katy did next"). it's early american rock 'n' roll transformed into a pub singalong, a feeling only enhanced by the coda, a crackling, lo-fi recording of the guys--or girls! i don't know who or what littl'ans are--sitting around w/ an acoustic guitar, sounding a bit like early orange juice, of all things. in terms of pete guest spots, it's better than the thing he did w/ client, but not as good as "for lovers" w/ wolfman.

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