Monday, July 17, 2006

But Neither of Them Knew, Really.


Because I'm so clever/But clever ain't wise

Was at HMV the other day, and true to form, I left with a purchase. Picked up Carl B
arât's Dirty Pretty Things, while my brother bought the new Keane and The Beautiful South LPs. Not exactly my cup of tea, those two bands; never liked Keane's music. They seem to have a sort of contrived pretence about them, eh? But that's just my opinion anyways. And The Beautiful South? You're better off with the new Camera Obscura album, Let's Get Out of This Country (in stock at HMV Singapore).

Alright, what about Dirty Pretty Things? Think Shakespeare-meets Pulp and Morrissey. Not exactly the record I would expect from this ex-Libertine, but it's surprisingly good. None of the tracks particularly stand out, as DPT comes out firing. Acerbic one-liners, ambitious, angsty, yet refreshingly sprightly. This LP, Waterloo to Anywhere,
Barât takes his half of the Libertines sound, and turns it into a sterling record. The kind of music that makes you wanna kick up a clump of dirt, and still feel pleased with yourself. And though nothing on Waterloo can stand up against Babyshambles' "Fuck Forever", Waterloo delivers consistently, while there were glaring blemishes on Pete Doherty's record, Down in Albion.

Down In Albion, on the other hand, is the direct mirror of Up The Bracket. Like certain things in life, you either love it or hate it. Pitchfork gave Albion a 7.7, while I have read one-star reviews elsewhere. Shambolic, disparaging vocals, and the occasional off-key indulgence makes Albion a love-hate affair. Albion starts strongly with "Fuck Forever" (the second song on the album), only to fall flat on it's face with the later tracks, which seemed like poor attempts to scale the same heights of FF. There is some hope for Babyshambles' fans though, some of the more upbeat tracks (
"The 32 of December", "Killamangiro") are reminiscent of The Sex Pistols and The Clash. All in all, Down in Albion offers glimpses of Pete Doherty's immense vision in small doses and spurts. Albion is a broke and busted record. Totally sloppy, rocked out in total drunkeness, and utterly exasperating to listen to. However, it reeks of honesty and I find it extremely hard to put down.

In short, go buy both records. Waterloo to Anywhere is the perfect complement to Down In Albion.
Carl Barât's wit and intelligence against Pete Doherty's drunken poetry. Clean, smart Shakespearean prose against a total mess of an album. The Libertines. What a shame.

Dirty Pretty Things - "Gin and Milk"
Dirty Pretty Things - "You Fucking Love It"
Dirty Pretty Things - "Bang Bang You're Dead"

Babyshambles - "Fuck Forever"

Bonus:
Morrissey - "Let Me Kiss You"
The Libertines - "You're My Waterloo"
*edit* Franz Ferdinand - "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" (Re-Worked Version)(Yes, the one with the banjo.)

Oh, here's something I read at BBC Sport recently on the Zidane saga.
Jacques Segeula of advertising group Havas: "This (headbutting incident) isn't going to harm him. This childish gesture gives a more human image of the hero. It brings the icon closer to the people." Since when did violence endear icons to the masses? Tsk tsk.

"- If you don't mind."

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