News photo

Fasten your seat belts! This writer got the gush! The Libertines’ eponymous second album — straight in at No. 1 in the British charts last week — spits out so much soul that each song is a love pill that will knock you emotionally senseless!

The cracked voice that could burst-into-tears-at-any-moment vocal delivery is a key factor in these 14 tremendous tracks. No space here to go into the band’s troubled history. Let’s just say that these songs are all about love found, love lost and a few hints at ultimate redemption between two best buddies, guitarist/vocalist/songwriting duo Carl Barat and Pete Doherty. Carl recently fired Pete due to his drug abuse, but he’ll welcome him back if Pete manages to kick his addictions. (The songs here were recorded in just a few takes — with Pete so on the edge there was no time to waste).

Lyrics like “If I have to go I will be thinking about your love” (on “Last Post on the Bugle”) suggests that Pete’s situation is hopeless. But there are also plenty of songs here that come out fighting, like the U.K. smash-hit single “Can’t Stand Me Now,” which has the lyric “Cornered, the boy kicked out at the world.” Musically, the fast songs sound a little like Blur when they did punk-rock, and the verve and in-your-faceness of many other tracks recall The Jam or The Who.

The Libertines are rock ‘n’ roll Christs — hanging on a cross, about to die — and this album takes you to a promised land.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.