The Libertines
The Libertines



by ican'tfindmyself11 USER (2 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 37 replies

Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Pete Doherty-Vocals/Guitar
Carl Barat-Vocals/Guitar
John Hassall-Bass
Gary Powell-Drums

2004 has been one of the most turbulent years for The Libertines. Vocalist/Guitarist Pete Doherty was basically chucked out of the band by co frontman Carl because of his drugs problems. The tension between the two seems to fuel this album because if you are a fan of the band you recognize which member every jibe and twisted lyric is aimed at. This band have been in the gutter press so much and it's really given them a bad name and they don't deserve it because this album is great. It adds so much to the sound they perfected with 2002's Up The Bracket.

Here's an analysis of each track

Can't Stand Me Now (3:23)-This song is a fragile anthem. It starts with an almost rock and roll vibe to it and then the verse kicks in with Carl and Pete exchanging conflicting lines that are obviously aimed at one another. The rhythm section hold the song together well. The lyrics are great and because of the band's current situation they are even more tortured and meaningful. Pete even touches on the subject of his drug use and why Carl blocks him out because of it. The outro is great with the two vocalists harmonizing and a great harmonica solo. A real standout track-5/5

Last Post On The Bugle (2:32)-This song starts with a solid drum riff and a simple lead guitar motif. It is a lot more punky than the previous track and is basically just sung by Pete. Gary's drumming is great on this song going from moderate to aggressive in a couple of seconds. The replacement of the third chorus with a lead guitar part and Pete's 'la la la' part is a good addition to the song. Overall this almost hits standout territory-4.5/5

Don't Be Shy (3:03)-A more slow rock and roll vibe to this song. Pete can't really hit the notes on this song but I suppose it adds to the rough feel of the record. The instrument playing is great as usual and John gets what could be called a 'bass solo' on this song which albeit not amazing technically it adds a lot to the song. Overall a good song even though Pete's singing may not be liked by some people on this song-4/5

The Man Who Would Be King (3:59)-This song is very interesting for two reasons. One: It has parallels with Tell The King from Up The Bracket (The Libertines debut album) because the lyrics almost follow on from it and the guitar intro is the same but the rest of the song is a lot more deep and sarcastic. Two: The Libertines use a piano and a trumpet (at the very end) on this song which shows theyíre branching out from theyíre punk/indie roots. The track is really a standout with a great guitar sound, sarcastic and dark lyrics and the rhythm section keeping the song from sounding too depressing at the sudden moments of aggression-5/5

Music When The Lights Go Out (3.02)-This song is a bit more upbeat than the last song and is beautiful with itís acoustic guitar and lounge sounding lead guitar. The lyrics are very reflective. The chorus has a kind of funk/rock n roll stomp to it, shows Carlís talent as a guitarist and itís a great sing-along. This is my favourite song on the album-5/5

Narcissist (2:10)-Carls first proper track on the album is a punk/rock n roll stomper which shows the band still have the sense of humour they had on Up The Bracket. The guitar lines are ludicrous and the lyrics have wit to them. Itís great to jump around to and is an all round good song-4/5

The Ha Ha Wall (2:29)-A simple, catchy song which has some great lyrics about how inspirational music is. The rhythm section on this song is great and itís got that 1970ís recording feel to it like most of the album but itís really noticeable here. The guitar solo is nice and as usual not too technical but at least fits in and adds to the song-4.5/5

Arbeit Macht Frei! (1:13)-The shortest song on the album and the fastest. Itís really funny but it makes a good point that Britain is racist. Itís a great track to liven you up when youíre down. People have said the song itself is racist but itís nonsense since The Libertines are part of the Love Music Hate Racism group and the lyrics are blatantly not racist. A great little ditty-4.5/5

Campaign Of Hate (2:10)-A social look at their hometown London. This song sounds a bit like Boys In The Band off Up The Bracket. Itís nothing really that special. I like it how it gradually speeds up at the end and the backing vocals are great. Itís one of the weaker songs on the album but still good enough for a 3.5/5

What Katie Did (3:49)-Carlís next song is one of the biggest standouts. It has Beach Boys backing vocals and itís simply gorgeous. You need to listen to it because words canít describe how good it is. There are some great sparks of lyrical genius and a false ending at one point which confused me at first. Still one of my personal favourites-5/5

Tomblands (2:06)-The punk vibe is back. This song has some great drum and bass work and is very energetic. No one really sings main vocals on this song because they harmonize together all the way through. There is a double solo at the end which is interesting-4.5/5

The Saga (1:53)-Another short punk song. I think Peteís lyrics are aimed at Carl again especially when he sings ĎIím not the one with problem. Itís you whoís the problem). The song isnít great but isnít as weak as Campaign Of Hate-4/5

Road To Ruin (4.41)-This song has a prime London Calling era Clash influence to it with the reverb on the guitar. It also has an organ which gives it a sinister vibe to it. I didnít like this song at first but I listened to it again and it grew on me. It has some good guitar work and Pete joins in with the soloís. I didnít realize that Pete is almost as good as Carl on the guitar. 4.5/5

What Became Of The Likely Lads (3:16)-This song is awesome. It is quite sad because it highlights how the problems the band are going through may never be resolved. It has a big sing-along chorus and has Pete and Carl trading lines. This is another big standout track. I canít say that much about it except LISTEN TO IT YOURSELF-5/5

France-This song isnít listed on the back since it is hidden. Itís Carl on his own with an acoustic guitar. Itís a beautiful song and finishes the album well because it fits with the previous track-4.5/5

Things I liked about the album-
Their influences have broadened and it shows in the music
The song structures are more varied and wide
Pete and Carlís singing fit well together
The songs are **** good generally

Things I disliked about the album-
Peteís singing on a couple of tracks drags a bit but itís not too noticeable.
It sounds a bit too rough occasionally


This is my best album of the year. I think itís representative of how the British rock scene has got so much better this last year and itís an improvement over Up The Bracket which was also an amazing album. :thumb:

user ratings (401)
other reviews of this album
pointlesss (4)
In conclusion there is too much filler for this album to be a classic buit there is an awfull lot to...

HolidayKirk (3.5)
For Tomorrow: A Guide to Contemporary British Music, 1988-2013 (Part 80)...

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dark Hero
September 24th 2004


Blender magazine gave this a 3/5, I hardly doubt it's worth a 5/5.

October 16th 2004


I've just discovered this band and have got both albums now. I'd say that the 2nd : "The Libertines" is easily album of the year for me.
The interplay between the two vocalists and the 2 guitars is really good - I think it's quite easy for 2 different guitars on a track to become a bit garbled but these complement each other well. The lyrics are good, there are some beautiful guitar licks and all of the tunes are brilliant (and some are relatively varied).
"Music When The Lights Go Out" is one of my favourite songs here and the wee vocal trumpet tune at the start is hilarious as well!!
I love this album - I'd have to give it about 4.9/5. To dismiss it by quoting a magazine's rating is disappointing. Listen to it and make your own mind up. Then come back and give it 3/5, haha.

The Reincarnation Of Hendrix
November 18th 2004


I agree with everything that the reviewer said. Epsecially his bit about What Became Of The Likely Lads. that song has so much added meaning and it almost makes me cry every time i hear it. i hope the rumours about their split arent true! We NEED this band back together!

November 19th 2004


anyone for a bowl of over-hyped soup. they arent terrible, but not as good as they are made out to be.

November 19th 2004


i dont really like indie.. but id give this cd 2/5 probably
and punk? in what way are they punk?

November 19th 2004


The Libertines are a band I really don't like.

November 19th 2004


i just realised in my comment i sed 3 instead of 2....
everyone at my schools an indie kid. they all hate me when i wear my dragonforce t-shirt, its not fair!

The Ashtray Girl
November 19th 2004


Ah... The Libertines... That contentious band.

I've given the album a couple of spins when I borrowed it from a friend, and whilst I didn't really give it my full attention I really don't think it's a five out of fiver, I'm afraid. But good review all the same, especially for someone so new. :thumb:

Scott Herren
November 19th 2004


The fact that you gave "Can't Stand Me Now" a 5/5 really nullifies your final rating for me because I think that song is borderline horrible, and I like their first album.

S. Paulo
November 19th 2004


Personally, I think the album is nothing on the first one, "Up The Bracket". Nothing really compares to the standard "Boys In The Band", "Up The Bracket" and "Time For Heros".

"Narcissist" is a good little number. "Can't Stand Me Now" makes a pretty little song. And without the annoying drum thuds, "What Became Of The Likely Lads" is pretty nice. Nothing else is barely rememberable. "Up The Bracket" was just filled with good tracks.

December 21st 2004


This album really gets on my nerves now. I guess I just really liked the raw feel of it and my friend used this album to convert me to indie so thats why I gave it a five. Pete can't really sing very well either. Still I guess it's alright for occasional listening but it's not as good as I made it out to be so sorry I was wrong.

December 21st 2004


The Libertines are great

December 21st 2004


Album Rating: 2.5

I just bought this album a couple days ago, after hearing all about them on MX. I've only listened to it a few times, but I quite enjoyed it. I'm not a big fan of the band (yet ;)), so I couldn't imagine giving this 5/5. Using the suggested rating system, there is no way this is a required album, or a cornerstone of the genre. I would go with 3.8-4.0, a great album, but by no means necessary.

But we'll see if it grows on me later and I change my tune ;).

December 22nd 2004


Up The Bracket, in my opinion was a great album. It makes for perfect listening with a few mates, beer and some spliffage. This on the other hand was a major disappointment. It's just as average as anything could possibly be.

September 17th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

I think that this is quite a good album, although i have only listened to it a couple of times.

It's still worth listening to if you've liked them on the radio or something.

September 17th 2005


The Libertines are fucking brilliant.They were so in touch with fans.You could go round to Pete Doherty's flat at 4 in the morning and he's played a private gig for you.They would leak their albums on purpose months before they were offically released in the shops.A week before going on huge UK tours they'd play a small tour of pubs and clubs.And when they played live.There was so much passion and energy.The Libertines clearly loved what they did and that's what makes them one of Britain's best band.So next time you hear their music or see a Libs thread don't just think 'Pah, Indie!' look deeper and you'll find someting you really love.

September 17th 2005


I kind of liked this when I first heard it, but when I put it on the other day, just to see if there was something I was missing I was stunned by how little I like it now. What Katie Did in particulay was honestly completely ghastly to me...the vocals on it genuinely sound painful.

September 17th 2005


I don't especially care the band, but your review was well written and detailed, so cheers.

September 29th 2005


i really like this album, the emotion in the songwriting comes through and you can see how the band are just tearing themselves apart. theres a lot of good songs there but i cant make up my mind between this and up the bracket, theyre both good albums in different ways.

September 29th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

this is a very bland and dull album.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy