Babyshambles - ‘Albion’ (Rough Trade)
01 Dec 2005
fine, doherty-related excursion in plaintive, melodic soundcraft; release - '05.
Easy as it is to overlook that Peter Doherty is actually a musician, when you reflect on the fruits of his creative endeavours of late, you'd be forgiven for concluding that your prior state of temporary ignorance, wherein you'd forgotten that he wasn't in fact as consistently incredible as his ridiculously high public profile would suggest, was a happier one to be in. In short, Babyshambles are a mess, to say something that isn't particularly controversial. But the good times, unlike Pete's musical status, aren't that difficult to remember.
'Albion' should come as a reminder, and is the closest thing to a proper, flowing, handsome song that we've heard from Doherty since 'Up The Bracket' ran its course. This, my boy, is more like it - a sighing melody, some clever wordplay, the feeling that finally the project has been injected with a little bit of soul rather than anything else. They've slowed down, but in dropping the pace they've at last picked up some spirit.
Whilst it's tempting to think of the lad as possibly the best advert for a life on the magic monkey beans ever, being that his frequently shoddy band are adored and a shockingly beautiful lady has been snared, the fact that the stuff has prevented Pete from focusing on writing stuff of this calibre is clearly a reason to abstain.