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BABYSHAMBLES
DOWN IN ALBION
EMI

By the late 1700s, "perfidious Albion" had become the name given to a Great Britain that could not be trusted. And ex-Libertine Pete Doherty, for one, loves to revel in the treachery on his newest, import-only dispatch as Babyshambles. The London waster and frequent tabloid star ó famous for drug busts and losing his gig in the Libertines after two albums ó is back to chronicling Brit life to the tune of jagged, chaotic guitars on this, the first proper Babyshambles full-length. (Band members jokingly tossed out Dark Side of the Spoon as a possible LP title.) In the ballad "Albion," Dohertyís poetry flows: "Yellowing classics and canons at dawn/Coffee wallahs and pith helmets/And an English song." Girlfriend Kate Moss joins him on "La Belle et la Bete," a rockabilly (and autobiographical?) yarn about a "coked-up pansy." Mick Jones is listed as producer, but he mostly seems to have left the big mess as is. Which is grand, of course. And Jonesís touches can be found, from the London Calling sound of "Arebours" to "Fuck Forever," where Doherty gets greedy, singing about death and glory. Yes, itís a shambling mess. But thatís what makes it so bloody compelling.

BY RYAN FOLEY


Issue Date: December 23 - 29, 2005
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