Peter Doherty
Grace/Wastelands


3.0
good

Review

by Edmund Blackadder USER (32 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2009 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Peter Doherty's debut album as a solo artist, while not outstanding, has several stand out songs that may keep the listeners attention and distract them from the more boring tunes.

Imagine the rolling hills of northern England, with many herds of roaming sheep and ancient, dilapidated stone walls. It is bright and sunny at the moment, but ominous dark clouds lurk on the horizon. Imagine that you are having a picnic, possibly with your girlfriend/boyfriend, and are eating some traditional english food with some tea. You have hired a musician to play for you that day. By some coincidence, this musician is Peter Doherty. The songs he plays are similar to the landscape around you: interesting a beautiful for a little while.... until you discover that everything is generally the same for miles around and that everything is basically some old rocks with grass on top.

This description of what I imagine sums up Grace/Wastelands as a whole may sound rather strange to you, the interested reader, but give this album a listen and you will find what I have stated to be quite true. This album has some very interesting, catchy songs that immediately draw the listener in, but also has it's fair share of stinkers that are easily skippable.

Peter Doherty, currently at the maturing age of 30, has had quite a musical experience in his past. First he sang for the indie band The Libertines, and gained a fair amount of success in his home country of England, then, after being fired from the band for his frequent (and often publicized) drug use, Peter invented Babyshambles, another fairly successful indie band. This has left him with a distinct vocal style of his own, which can be compared to such great voices as Morrissey of The Smiths and Michael Stripe of REM. Nonetheless, Peter's vocals are pleasant to listen to, and although he does not have a broad vocal range, he can easily hold a tune. The opening song, 'Arcady', as well as the extremely catchy 'I Am The Rain' both showcase his vocals very well, and are possibly the two best songs on the album, to boot.

For any of those expecting to hear some more punkish tunes such as 'Killamangiro' or 'Up The Bracket, prepare to be disappointed. The dominating instrument here is certainly the acoustic guitar. This is a good and bad thing. Some of the songs work very well with the pleasant, laid back guitar, while others seem very boring and repetitive. 'Sheepskin Tearaway' is an example of this, with a very slow, boring acoustic passage. Some interesting female vocals and harmonica barely save this song from monotony. As for the rest of the instruments, they are nothing special with some fairly simple bass lines and some casual drumming. 'The Last of The English Roses' and 'Palace Of Bone' both have interesting drumming contributions, with some neat percussion as well as some drumming that would sound more in place in a techno song.

With its twelve tracks and fairly short run time, this is by no means a long record. All of the songs run under five minutes, with the shortest (and most boring) song, 'Lady, Don't Fall Backwards' running under 2:30. This is probably a good thing, as more songs would mean more filler. Despite this relatively short run time, the album seems laboriously long and drawn out, and eventually becomes a chore to listen to. The songs sounding very similar due to the clean guitar and style of singing also seem to draw out and contort the album, until it is quite unexciting and uninteresting, much like the English countryside.

In conclusion, this is a decent album with several standout tracks as well as a fair share of filler. Peter Doherty's pleasant vocals help give the album an overall laid back feel. A greater variety of songs and instrumentation would make this album a success. I would recommend this to anybody who want some mellow, quiet music that could serve well as background music for a dinner party, or possibly, a picnic.

Pros
-Good singing
-Laid back and mellow
-Consistent in instrumentation and vocal content

Cons
-Several uninterresting, repetitive tracks
-Lacks variety in songs
-Does not live up to previous Babyshambles or Libertines releases.

Recommended Songs:
-Arcady
-I Am The Rain
-Palace of Bone


Hehehe just noticed album artwork is rather dirty.



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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
erdi (3.5)
A easy-listening and a calm album from our chaotic rock star Peter Doherty and it's definetely worth...


Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
March 23rd 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My first review, so go easy here

MassiveAttack
March 23rd 2009


2688 Comments


Alright! You followed my comments. I feel so cool. lol I'll input some criticism. The first paragraph for the most part works well, but it feels choppy by the end. Make a few touch ups on it.

Just a heads up:
4th paragraph 'Up The Bracket isn't closed. I do not prefer the whole pros/cons thing since a reviewer should already elaborate on those in the review itself, thus not really needing to repeat yourself by the end of it. Good first review. I hope to see more.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2009


7423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great first review I pos'd. I was thinking about doing this, but there's no point now cos my opinions are pretty similar to yours. I've never really gotten into the Libertines or Babyshambles, but both have some great songs. That's what I think is missing here. Like you said, there are some like Arcady that are pleasent, but there wasn't really anything that lept out. At the same time though there wasn't anything that was shockingly bad and unlistenable, but it can get a little dull.

ninjuice
March 23rd 2009


6760 Comments


Pretty good review, and since it's a first I shall pos (which is voting 'yes' at the bottom in case you didn't know).

STOP SHOUTING!
March 23rd 2009


639 Comments


"everything is generally the same for miles around and that everything is basically some old rocks with grass on top"
"until it is quite unexciting and uninteresting, much like the English countryside"

Just don't agree with this review. You make no mention of the breathtaking mountains of the Lake District, the bleakness of the Yorkshire Moors, the pretty Yorkshire Dales, the caverns and potholes of the Peak District. What about the variety of the fauna? The change in scenery with the seasons? I could go on ...This Message Edited On 03.23.09

karina
March 23rd 2009


165 Comments


shannon is better

mx
Moderator
March 28th 2009


733 Comments


Great first review

Phantom
March 28th 2009


8930 Comments


Eugh, Pete Doherty.

Nice first review though

Fugue
March 28th 2009


7354 Comments


Yeah good review, from what I've heard this is much better than the crap he released with Babyshambles.

RandyfromPennywise
March 29th 2009


752 Comments


I agree with mx.

Knott-
Emeritus
March 31st 2009


10198 Comments


Brilliant analogy, a bit awkwardly executed I think, but great review for a first.

I actually quite enjoy this album which is surprising because in general he pisses me off. I used to be a massive Babyshambles fan but eventually I grew out of them and this was a pleasant listen.

shindip
April 1st 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked Babyshables and The Libertines both had their good and bad moments.

Calimethar
June 5th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Funny, most people see Lady don't fall backwards as one of the best examples of Peters skills. I think its a beautiful song.

erdi
December 18th 2010


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A cool album and I think it recieves harsh criticism. My fave songs are 1939 Returning, Salome, Sweet
By and By, Sheepskin Tearaway, New Love Grows on Trees and Lady Don't Fall Backwards.

Pete is such a fragile boy, I cherish you Pete.

Wrongjam
March 2nd 2011


25 Comments


this is a beautiful album, salome is my favourite song.



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