Down In Albion Babyshambles
CD Review by Mike D'Ariano

Track listing:
1. La Belle Et La Bete 2. Fuck Forever 3. A'rebours 4. 32nd of December 5. Pipedown
6. Sticks And Stones 7. Killamangiro 8. 8 Dead Boys 9. In Love With A Feeling 10. Pentonville
11. What Katy Did Next 12. Albion 13. Back From The Dead 14. Loyalty Song 15. Up The Morning
16. Merry Go Round 17. Flop House (Bonus Track) 18. What Katy Did (Demo) (Bonus Track)
19. Video - Fuck Forever (Clean Version)

Label: Toshiba EMI / Release date: December 20, 2005

Okay . . . here's what you need to know. Babyshambles is the new band fronted by Pete Doherty. Pete Doherty is the guy from the now defunct band The Libertines. He's the guy that got kicked out of the band when he burgled another band member's apartment to support his Crack and Heroin habits. He's also the guy who's currently dating Kate Moss, and presumably gave her the drugs she was photographed taking (she was in the recording studio with his band when said photos were taken). Pete sleeps one night a week, gets arrested a lot, beats people up, and is generally a fucking train wreck. I don't know him personally, but that seems to be the consensus.

Now - and this is the important part for our purposes here - like most drugged out train wreck musicians, Pete is making some really incredible music. That last Libertines album was phenomenal, and this new album - like the former, which was produced by Mick Jones of The Clash - might actually be even better. It's got all the earmarks of a great album. Great lyrics, off-kilter delivery, and a sound that's different but you can't pin down exactly why it's different.

It's a little dark, a little hard to understand, and it's a little better than anything currently on the U.S. pop charts. It's a shame that nobody's heard of it here beyond "isn't that the album by the guy that was doing drugs with Kate Moss?" In England, the second single "Fuck Forever" went to #4 - can you imagine that happening here? Tipper Gore would drop dead on the spot, and Brittany Spears' head would explode because she might have to write something intelligent to keep her pop queen status. Oh well, maybe some day.

Key Tracks: "La Belle Et La Bete," "Fuck Forever," "The 32nd of December."