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The second album released by 'Babyshambles' is definitely an improvement on the first, this album contains a greater depth of songs and doesn't contain any shockers such as 'Pentoville' off the first album 'Down in Albion'.
The only downside to this album compared to 'Down in Albion' is that it doesn't contain songs of the quality of 'Albion' and 'Kilamangiro' however this doesn't prevent there being any very good songs on this album. Some of the best songs on the album are 'French Dog Blues', 'Baddies Boogie' and 'Lost Art of Murder'. They all have a good musical base along with some well thought out lyrics.
The middle of the album can tend to drag slightly when you are listening to it all through even though the songs themselves aren't that bad.
I would recommend giving this album a listen, its a good solid album but may not hit the heights of some of the albums out there.
Shotters nation, the second arrival from Babyshambles starring the well known band member and lead singer Pete Doherty. The thing i love about the music produced by Babyshambles is how raw and rough it feels when you listen to the songs, there is an air of old school about it, not having the riff effects of some of the new bands but having instruments in the album such as the harmonica. The thing i love about this album is some of the songs are really fast paced compared to the album Albion, the album kicks off with a rush of energy with Delivery and You talk, both released as singles in the charts, becoming very popular amongst fans. The album also includes songs such as French dog blues which was also released as a single and is more a slow paced, lyrical bit of genius from the band.The album is very good and each song has a deeper meaning to it mainly about Petes past with drugs and love. I highly recommend a listen to this album.
I believe that Shotters Nation is a very good album with a number of excellent songs on it. It can certainly be argued that it is weaker than Down In Albion, because it does not contain the big, instantly recongisable anthems that its predecessor did. However, there are a lot of very good songs on the album and it is certainly a must have for all Babyshambles fans.
An interesting song, and one of my personal favourites is French Dog Blues. Writing credit for this song is given to Ian Brown as some of the lyrics are taken from his song "Deep Pile Dreams". French Dog Blues is also the name of Peter Doherty's website where there is also a forum entitled "French Dog Writtles". This song also has a very good video, with an animated version of the band playing the song.
It is difficult to pick a particularly weak song from the album. Every song has something to offer, both in terms of lyrics and the song itself. Carry On Up The Morning will draw obvious comparisons to Up The Morning the previous album but I think that it stands up well, with some very strong and interesting lyrics.
A song that passed me by for a long time is Side Of The Road. However, having seen it performed live it has become one of my favourites. It is a good example of Babyshamble's famous 'whirlpool effect' that whips audiences up into a frenzy.
Overall, I think that this is a very good album with a lot of good songs. All of the songs has something to offer. It is tempting to think that because there are no big anthems like "Albion" or "F**k Forever" (Delivery is probably the most well known song on the album) that it is not as good as Down In Albion. I would disagree with this argument however and suggest that it is at least equal to its predecessor.
Give Pete a Chance (Babyshambles - Shotter's Nation)
What is it about Pete Doherty that is so offensive? I don't understand. Yes, he has issues. Yes, he's repeatedly in the media for less than pleasant reasons, and there's the continued question over whether or not he should be in jail, but why does this so heavily influence the public perception of whether he can or cannot write music? Isn't it especially unfair to dislike him without even listening to his work? I urge you people, in the words (well very nearly) of John Lennon: Give Pete a Chance.
In an age of manufactured mediocre music, Pete Doherty stands out as a shining example of raw ability and talent that is so lacking in today's mainstream. He should be celebrated for this talent rather than condemned and dismissed purely because of the personal battles he so clearly struggles with. Such a struggle is hardly a new phenomenon amongst unusually talented people, and we must know by now that it is that very struggle that makes them such good artists. Take away the battles and the inspiration is gone. Just look at Amy Winehouse to whom the media/public seem to have reacted to in an equally strong yet bizarrely opposite way, going so far as to almost will an overdose to somehow 'preserve' that talent. How disturbing for poor Amy, however, record sales soar. Not so for Pete Doherty, an equally talented musician with an equally damaged soul.
Shotter's Nation is the first full length album released by Babyshambles since they were signed to major record label Parlophone, and the follow-up album to 'Down in Albion' the 2005 album released under Rough Trade Records. Released by any other, perhaps more mainstream, perhaps more media-approved band, Shotter's Nation could have been an overnight success headed straight for the number one slot. Instead it was destined to peak at an unimpressive number 5.
On first listening, you are stuck by two amazing revelations:
1. Babyshambles can play in time - who'd have thought it?!
2. Pete is actually singing - yes, singing!
Of course, this is much less of a revelation to any Libertines fan, who were well aware of Pete's talents long before the somewhat messy Down in Albion.
The major record label and the production of Stephen Street (of The Smiths, Morrissey, Blur, Kaiser Chiefs, etc. fame) has no doubt contributed to this cleaner, more finished sound, which in my opinion (as someone who didn't dislike Down in Albion) is on the whole a good thing. It isn't as Brit Pop as might be expected, although there is a bit of an early-mid 90s feel. The main influence seems to come straight out the 60's - or perhaps what the 60's would have been, if only Punk had come first.
It's very hard to select the best tracks from Shotter's Nation, it is not your standard 'a few great singles and a bunch of fillers' kind of album. It is a very consistent album made up of 12 very good tracks:
CARRY ON UP THE MORNING: A great track which provides an excellent opener for this album. It sounds very Libertine-esque but in a cleaned up and somewhat sharper way.
DELIVERY: The first single from the album, released September 2007 and the albums greatest success to date reaching number 6 in the UK chart. A catchy and upbeat enjoyable track with a definite post-punk Kinks sound in line with the general 60's inspired feel of the album.
YOU TALK: The second single released from the album, however, it never even made it into the top 50, peaking at 54 - an undeservedly low position. Perhaps the Kate Moss involvement was a bit off-putting? A great track nevertheless.
UNBILOTITLED: A really good track which sounds, like much of the album, to be truly heart-felt. The whole album has a remarkably honest feel which no doubt reflects Doherty's turbulent journeys of the time.
SIDE OF THE ROAD: A bouncy number with a good bit of nice crashy-bangy stuff - bring on the mosh-pit!
CRUMB BEGGING BAGHEAD: The start does slightly make me think of that great quote from Peep Show 'the longer the note, the greater the dread' but once you get past that, it's pretty good.
UNSTOOKIE TITLED: Fabulous guitar intro, followed by a great song with inspired lyrics.
FRENCH DOG BLUES: One of the more 'indie' style tracks that will have you believing you are back in the golden days of the 90s.
THERE SHE GOES: I really enjoy this track. It has a lovely jazzy feel about it which sounds quite unique within the current music scene.
BADDIES BOOGIE: A great track which has the potential to be a great single. It really sticks in your head.
DEFT LEFT HAND: Another potential single with a definite 90's feel. The indie feelings are definitely stronger in the second half of the album. Dare I suggest this sounds all a bit Blur? I hasten to point out I mean proper Blur - the pre-Parklife days before they got far too big and much less good.
LOST ACT OF MURDER: A superb acoustic track with remarkably crisp clear lyrics bringing the album to the perfect close.
I love this album. It reminds us of just how good Doherty is, and suggests that he might be able to recreate the magic he had with the Libertines, and perhaps even better it.
© BondgirlK8 October 2008
That's better Pete!!! I bought Down In Albion and must say i was very disappointed with it, there were a few half decent songs like Albion and Killamanjiro, but apart from those, not much to write home about, it sounded like they recorded it 2 hours and mixed it in 2 hours.
Shotter's Nation is a completely different story altogether i'm pleased to say. This record could be the turning point in the life of Pete Doherty, which shows just how powerful music can be to some people, a return to from some might say.
A few of the tracks on this record remind me of the good old Libertines days, tracks like Carry On Up The Morning and Delivery bring a reminiscent smile to my face, makes you think what might have been had they not split up.
the recording sounds sharp and well produced and credit goes to producers and engineers involved!
A true return to form for Pete Doherty with an album that reminds me of some of those amazing Libertine moments.
More polished and produced (not hard!) than Down in Albion with some smart lyrics that bring a smile to you face.
Watch out for the Ian Brown lyric 'borrowed' on an album, I won't tell you where!
Highlights are 'Delivery' the recent single and also te upbeat 'You talk' as well as 'Baddies Boogie'
I am sure there is more to come from these guys but this is well worth a listen and is a true return to form for Pete D.
'Down In Albion' was perhaps the messiest album ever to have been given an official release, an album showcasing 16 tracks that sounded only half finished. Two years on and it seems that things have changed drastically for the band; Pete Doherty seems to be cleaning up his act, and Babyshambles have thus released an album that has been perfectly polished in the form of 'Shotters Nation'. With Stephen Street in charge of the production duties here, the man best known for his work with The Smiths and Blur; it was always clear that this album was going to be a lot more professional sounding than its predecessor. Whilst the previous album was released through Rough Trade Records, this latest effort from the band saw a release on major label Parlophone and I guess the big question is then; Does the music of Pete Doherty live up to the media hype of his personal life with this latest offering?
In some instances, the band does live up to the media hype that surrounds Pete Doherty, however for the most part by all accounts it does not. Although the production of the album here is strong, there is no denying the fact that this album has no real stand out tracks. Whilst last album 'Down In Albion' was blessed with the cracking single 'Killamangiro', there is no sign of such strength of track here. This is in no small part down to the clean production of the album; the previous charm of the band can be seen in their edginess and the appeal of their unpredictable front man, however all of this now seems to be gone. The clean production of the band, and pleasant mid-tempo rock tracks just don't seem to suit Babyshambles whatsoever. Although its great that Pete Doherty did not simply crash and burn as so easily could have happened, this is just not the strong second album from the band that I was hoping for.
In truth 'Shotters Nation' is a hell of a lot more listenable than 'Down In Albion' was, but given the monstrous mess of a release that the last album was; this is no great achievement. Having said this however, I actually prefer 'Down In Albion' as at least it was interesting, which is more than can be said about this latest offering. Plodding along and showing extremely little in the way of innovation, 'Shotters Nation' provides twelve tracks of neatly produced mediocrity.
There are of course a couple of moments here that do provide a decent amount of entertainment in this release, however sadly are few and far between. Opening track 'Carry On Up The Morning' actually introduces the album fairly promisingly and when I first heard it I actually found it to be a pretty decent introduction to the album. Sure it's not the most exciting track that Pete Doherty has ever written, however it's a decent track nonetheless and his drawn out vocals come across well here over the backdrop of some fine instrumental work. Sadly then, the band don't seem to keep this up for long as with next track 'Delivery' things seem to go downhill and fast. Opening up with an embarrassingly simple guitar line, the track seems to have no direction whatsoever and soon becomes tiresome. Seemingly trying to sound like The Kinks 'You Really Got Me', 'Delivery' is a track that falls flat on its face.
After the initial promising opening track of the album, the next real glimpse of interesting music comes in the form of 'Deft Left Hand', the albums penultimate track. Eight tracks have thus passed and none have had a lasting impact on me whatsoever, and in fact by the time I'd reached this late stage of the album I'd even forgotten what the promising opening track had sounded like. So, the fact of the matter here is that even the tracks that at first come across as interesting are instantly forgettable and seemingly highly disposable.
For much of the album the lyrics here reflect the front man's turbulent relationship with supermodel Kate Moss, and his personal drug use/abuse that has made him so popular with the tabloids. Pete Doherty has clearly had a tough time of it in recent years, and lyrics of this sort were extremely predictable, however I still don't particularly want to hear it. The lyrical statement of I never said it was clever, I just like getting leathered during the track 'You Talk' for instance is hardly big news to us.
'Shotters Nation' was Babyshambles big opportunity to prove themselves as a band and justify their transition from an independent record label to a major, however all Babyshambles manage to prove here is that without a scarily unpredictable front man they are nothing more than a massively over hyped rock band producing music that offers nothing new. The clean production in this release just doesn't suit the band, and as Pete Doherty and co. plod through this album they fail to ever truly ignite. The raw emotion of old is no longer apparent, and although Doherty proves himself to be a fairly competent musician; this was never his appeal in the first place. 'Shotters Nation' is an album that will appeal to very few, an altogether unexpected outcome from a man that looked destined to be heading for an early grave.
Release Date: 1st October 2007
Originally posted by me on my website Alt-UK.com
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Carry On Up The Morning
3 You Talk
5 Side Of The Road
6 Crumb Begging
7 Unstookie Titled
8 French Dog Blues
9 There She Goes
10 Baddies Boogie
11 Deft Left Hand
12 Lost Art Of Murde