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Libertines brilliant debut, the gauntlet has been thrown down.
Up The Bracket - The Libertines
Member Name: RussellsReviews
Up The Bracket - The Libertines
Advantages: Rough and ready, catchy, poetic lyrics, masterful instrumentation.
The Libertines perfectly capture the feelings of a troubled youth. The music is anarchic, catchy and full of energy and the raw barely there production only strengthens their sound. Track by track...
1. Vertigo *****
The buzzing guitar riff and dual lead vocals are a perfect beginning to the debut. The lyrics you should expect from The Libertines are just great. And the mismatch, messy guitar solo is top notch.
2. Death On The Stairs *****
Another catchy, potentially danceable tune with great lyrics 'Half of less than 50p', is a personal highlight. And the sharing of lead vocals is great and gives the song another dimension. Carl's frustration and Pete's pleading really bring out the lyrical themes.
3. Horrorshow *****
This song is just brilliant, one of my favourites off the album, apparently about Pete's growing heroin addiction: 'horse is brown', and wailing lead vocals coming from Pete make this even more powerful. I don't think Pete's lyrical imagery has ever reached such height or ever will.
4. Time For Heroes *****
The most polished song off of the album and naturally was given the most airplay. Pete sings with real conviction about the mayday riots, in which he was involved. The seemingly impenetrable wall of fuzz guitar and typically precise drums are perfect. I really like the guitar solo as well. Carl and Pete really had a knack for seemingly messy yet perfect guitar solos that are just so right.
5. Boys In The Band *****
At the risk of giving this album a perfect score another 5 stars, but the first five tracks off this album are just so perfect. This shambling rocker. The rhythm shift for the chorus is great and Carl's vocals are so well delivered.
6. Radio America ***
One of my least favourite tracks on the album, it is obviously a heartfelt song with plenty of meaning but melody wise I'm not hit by so many hooks as I was on earlier moments on the album.
7. Up The Bracket *****
Perhaps my favourite on the album. It so energetic and anarchic you almost can't help but get on your feet. I really love the chorus as well 'It's just like he's in another world'. The solo is once again brilliant, pure Libertines.
8. Tell The King *****
Brilliant lyrically and melodically a more mellow piece. My favourite is 'You're like a journalist, how you cut and paste and twist'. Brilliant Doherty lyric.
9. The Boy Looked At Johnny ****
I know many may be angered at my rating of only 4 stars for TBLAJ but for me its not nearly as strong as some of the other tracks. But The scat vocal chorus is brilliantly well judged and Pete's howling vocals are great.
10. Begging ****
Starting with some brilliant Gary Powell drums, a great song, but perhaps too long an intro. Reminds me very much of some Dirty Pretty Things material with Carl Barat on lead vocals.
11. The Good Old Days *****
A brilliant song melodically, focusing on the Pixie-esque notion of Quiet - Loud - Quiet - Loud.
12. I Get Along *****
Plainly a Barat composition, it's big, fun and full of energy. Very catchy.
I must admit it took me a while to really understand The Libertines anarchic rough and ready sound, on first listen I thought the producer must have just been rubbish. But when you look past the initial niggles you see beautiful lyrics, a real chemistry between frontmen that can even be heard on record, perfec, catchy melodys and yo begin to understand the raw production is necessary to the Libertines sucess. You can almost imagine you're hearing them live.
Summary: Probably the greatest debut album I've ever heard.