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Album: The Libertines - All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade | reviews, news & interviews

Album: The Libertines - All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade

Album: The Libertines - All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade

The riotous spirits of the Noughties mellow into a surprising maturity

Carl Barat and Peter Doherty are "the Glimmer Twins" of their own wayward trajectory through the worlds of rock and roll, stardom, drugs, distraction and destruction.

The noughties indie stars, releasing their first album in a decade, are perhaps as near as their generation will get to the steady state of the Mick-n-Keef equation. But it pulls you up to realise that, more than 20 years after they went in to a studio together, this is only their fourth album as a band.

Recorded, in part, at their Albion Rooms hotel on Margate’s Eastern Esplanade, its 11 new tunes display energetic rock-pop hooks, plenty going on in the lyrics, and Doherty in good voice – half street urchin, half dissolute gentry. Opener “Run Run Run” is a hi-energy start with a singalong chorus, and some distinctive post-production work from producer Dimitri Tikovoï audible on the vocals. Album highlight “Mustang” is a lean, percussive character list of a song – day-drinking young mum Traci, Pigman the bloke with a rollie, Sister Mary “riding mustangs in her dreams” – all characters who appear on the album’s cover – while on the piano-led “Merry Old England” Doherty surveys the harsher face of Albion and asks ‘You Syrians, Iraqis and Ukrainians… Oh how you finding Merry old England?’.

“Man with the Melody” is a song from their earliest days, by bassist John Hassalls, and finally getting an airing with lush strings, an introspective feel and vocals shared between the whole band, while the album’s most anthemic offering is well-chosen album single “Oh Shit!” with its catchy-as-covid chorus and kicking up some Glam-style stardust into the guitar section. A disembodied chorale swirls around the chorus of the atmospheric Barat-Doherty composition “Shiver”, while their garage-band roots bulge through the studio floor on the opening of “Be Young”, a meditation on eco-consciousness, Libertines-style, with its focus on the best ways to act in the face of "total fucking annihilation". To close, the rich lyricism of “Songs They Never Play on the Radio”, with its after-hours feel and affecting vocal (an irritating post-song studio coda aside), makes you glad that Doherty and co have cleaned up enough to get back to work.

@CummingTim

Its 11 new tunes display energetic rock-pop hooks, plenty going on in the lyrics, and Doherty in good voice

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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