Down In Albion Review

artist: Babyshambles date: 01/21/2008 category: compact discs
Babyshambles: Down In Albion
Release Date: Nov 17, 2005
Label: EMI
Genres: Rock
Number Of Tracks: 16
Albion, is a masterpiece of an accoustic lullaby which reminds all why we fell in love with Pete in the first place.
 Sound: 8.1
 Lyrics: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 15 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Down In Albion Reviewed by: northhillside, on january 21, 2006
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: I would definitaly say babyshambles have a pretty unique sound. Petes scratchy at times beautiful, at times angry vocals combine well with Pat's loose guitar playing and with the rhythm section of the band. As I said Pat's guitar playing is very loose, hes said it himself, but it gives the album a great, slightly shambolic feel. Having said this the album is surprisingly together, the band dont sound nearly as 'all over the place as in the earlier gigs'. It gives the songs energy and character and he improvises around chords well although his playing can be very hard at times to perfectly interpret. His choice of effects is also much improved and more consistent than the early days. I believe he plays through some kind of marshall set-up with generally light distortion. He has a trebly kind of sound to his playing. The drums and bass hold this album together well, the drumming may not be as impressive but is plays to the beat rather than the libertines gary powell who often would play around the beat. As it is, the songs are (usually) there - in the early days it was the sound of the band which let them down. However on the album this has changed, they now have a distinctive, unique sound. // 9

Lyrics: Pete Doherty has always been seen as some kind of a poet by many of his fans. And in most cases he doesnt dissapoint- the songs are two fingers up to the British Tabloids, to everyone who has doubted and disowned him, to most things really. On this album he does tend to talk about life, love, the tabloids - general songwriting stuff I guess - this is a change from the Libertines Up The Bracket where the lyrics would sometimes drift off to imagionary lands - to the good ship albion, arcadia etc. The quality of the lyrics is still pretty high, not much has changed since his libertines. The only poor couplet I can think of is 'There is a lesson I have learned/If you play with fire you will get burned'. He combats this with lines such as 'If you're looking for a cheap sort/Who glints with perspiration/Theres a five mile queue at the disused railway station.' // 10

Overall Impression: I've gotta be honest, a lot of great new bands made it big in 2005. This album might not have been the best seller, but in my opinion its certainly the album of the year. It sh*ts all over Kaiser Chiefs, Employment, Franz Ferdinands new stuff, even over the Artic Monkeys. The only band who come close to Babyshambles last year was Bloc Party, but to me Down In Albion seems like the only one which will be regarded as a classic in years to come.! // 10

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overall: 7
Down In Albion Reviewed by: wackyblacky, on november 29, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The band deliberately come across as shambolic and very rough and tumble, and this is both a blessing and a curse, the likes of F--k Forever and Sticks and Stones are superb pieces of work whereas the terrible effort of Pentonville and what I consider the worst track of the 16 Le Belle et la Bete (which features Kate Moss backing vocals) starts off the album, hearing this you think oh my god this is gonna be shit, things can only get better and they do. Albion, is a masterpiece of an accoustic lullaby which reminds all why we fell in love with Pete in the first place. // 6

Lyrics: While Pete manages to avoid supermodels (barely) and crazy coke habits, there are moments when you think what the fuck is he talking about. And you begin to wonder if he's lost it or way past his best. Having said that the general attitude seems to be when lifes shite: f--k it, kick seven bells of shit out of something, then cry your eyes out. The likes of Albion are genius, Fuck Forever awsome, Pentonville what the f--k? Killamangiro touch of the clash. And of course Pete still sounds like a strangled cat but that is not what this band are about, it's what is said and not how. // 8

Overall Impression: I think you'd have to be as potty as Pete to claim this is better than any Libs stuff, Up The Bracket shits all over Down In Albion to be fair, but at times the deliberate shambolism of this album is beautiful, at others, plain fucking annoying, but it is a must buy for any Doherty fan, and yes, I admit I am one, the tracks Fuck Forever, Sticks and Stones, Killamangiro, What Katy Did Next, Albion and Up The Morning are superb and it's worth buying it for them. They took so long to release it, you have expected something a tad more polished, a potentially 10 out of 10 album has been let down by sloppiness and that can't be forgiven, although it will be the best 'demo' you will hear all year. // 7

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overall: 5.7
Down In Albion Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 11, 2006
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album has a vareity of sounds used, it has 16 songs on it. Unfortunatley I only like the three singles that have been released which isnt normally the case. Usually I like the songs which havent been released but the best songs on this album are F--k Forever, Kilamangiro, and Albion. The rest of the songs are mediocre to absaloute rubbish! I don't think there is a theme or a story related to this album I just think the songs are in a random order, basically it is the opposite of Green Day's American idiot. On some songs you can hear background noise and people talking. // 6

Lyrics: Overall the lyrics are quite good thats if you can tell what they are. This is because Pete Doherty mumbles but I suppose that is just his singing style. Half the time it seems like he is out of tune or not in sync with the music. At times the lyrics seem different to what is written down in the booklet, maybe this is because of a printing error or Pete Doherty just forgot the lyrics. // 6

Overall Impression: I love the unique style and variation of the album, there is no other album like this I dont think or a band like Babyshambles. I dont like the "shambolic" style of it as it sometimes interfers with the music. If I gave the album a mark out of 10 I would give it a 5. // 5

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overall: 9.3
Down In Albion Reviewed by: screwup30, on september 01, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Many would describe this album as "shambolic" but not me. People expecting the indie punk sound of the Libertines will be greatly surprised when they listen to this for the first time. Each song provides a different sound, some very angry and harsh e.g. F--k Forever, others soft and sweet aka Albion. Pat is a very talented guitarist although this fact is often over looked as Pete is the "star" of Babyshambles. As a fan I couldnt ask for more from the band, they have made a record that may not be a classic but will certainly be remembered in years to come. // 9

Lyrics: Once again Pete has created some of the years best lyrics, he may be considered a poet by some but in my opinion he is one of Britian's best songwriters since Noel Gallagher. Pete provides all the emotion needed for each song, sure he may ocassionaly drift off while singing but that is part of his charm and charisma as a preformer. // 9

Overall Impression: 2005 was a brilliant year for music. But, when we look back in 10 or 20 years time we will remember this album, not the Kaiser Chiefs debut etc. Buy this album and cherish it, don't critise it for not being a new Libertines album because it was never going to be that. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Down In Albion Reviewed by: Keli-bbyshamble, on october 25, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Okay, not a new album. But I would say maybe a slightly forgotten about album? Any other fans of Pete agree? A lot of shops don't seem to stock it! Well I'm going to try and remind you that it is a awesome album. I hope my review doesn't suck to much I am like new to this! I signed up like half an hour ago, as I kinda owe it to Ultimate-Guitar as it is my main source for tab. So about Down In albion! Contains 16 awesome tracks, including hit F--k Forever. The yrics rock in F--k Forever, and shows petes awesome humour by ending the song with the lines "They will never play this on the radio!" The first track on the album La Belle La Bete, has a good lively beat to it And tells a story "But you won't listen!" out the song! Also really bulids up, and features Kate Moss. The 3rd track A'rebours fits in well after F--k Forever and is followed by the 32nd of December, a mysterious track, which I can listen to time and time again! Track five is one of my favourites Pipedown, wrote about, to be honest I have no idea what, a totally random track from about Matt wanting his money back to having the right sound! To be honest this track doesnt't really make any sense and is wrote in the awesome pete doherty style. Has an kick-ass tune to it, with a jumpy feel. Next it's Sticks And Stones, a cool song with almost a ska feel to it! Next killamangiro, great song, was released and got into the UK top ten. Awesome guitar riff at start, and is about killing a man for he's giro. A totally mental kick-ass song! Then there's 8 Dead Boys, In Love With A Feeling followed by Pentonville which is a weird track to be honest not my type of song. And Pete doesn't sing in it. Babyshambles even try out some acoustic balladry at the end, such as the quiet, strangely poignant closer "Merry Go Round." A good song, very mysterious. Then you can't forget What Katie Did Next, a follow up from the Libertines What Katy Did. Written about Kate Moss, and it tells the story of Pete and hers strange love story. Theres even the quite, Albion. Which makes gives the album a soft touch and shows Petes writing talents. Written strangely, and cleverly.. won't spoil it for you I just suggest buy this album! Still sold on Amazon. COntains everything from headbanging tracks, to acostically ballads! The Sun newspaper may say Pete is a wreck, okay maybe he is when on drugs, but his song-writing amazes many people, so why miss out? // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics varie all the way through the album, from the careless ones in F--k Forever, the strange story of La Belle La Bete, the soft clever lyrics in Albion, to the perfectly random in Pipedown. Pete Doherty, looks at all aspects of life in his lyrics, even sometimes they don't quite add up. But that's Babyshambles inderviduality and total difference. Pete releases a totally different sound and storys with Babyshambles rather than the Libertines. // 10

Overall Impression: A totally varied album no songs are the same! Pipedown is my favourite, but the lyircs in albion just make you go wow! If this album was stolen/lost I would go and buy another copy whatever the price and prbably get a spare one! But don't go into Babyshambles' debut album expecting to hear a replay of the Libertines. Doherty puts in a totally new effect and makes this album rock! I love the strangeness, and unordered totally random selection of songs on the album you can't get bored of it! Trust me, Peter Doherty is an extremely talented guy and despite his drug use he is still putting out amazing music. I love every track on this CD, even the strange ones. Some People think that Dohertys mad for taking a risk and putting all these random tracks on an album. But, everyone knows that people who take risks make the greatest achivements. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Down In Albion Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 30, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: the album takes a huge leap from the critcally acllaimed libertines masterpieces into a somewhat ska influenced medley of poetry and catchy chorus. Although not what expected from 'junkie' pete, the album definately holds it's own against the classics before him. With the opening track' belle et la bete' starting straight with petes brilliant way of putting his ideas and life in lyrics, it almost invites you into the reality of the whole band, dismissing the papers and such. "I'll tell you a story but you wont listen, it's about a nightmare steeped in tradition," almost trying to convince himself that people are now just caught up in the hype put around him by the news of the world and the sun. All the tracks are strong and equal or sometimes better the older libertines tunes, songs such as 'Down In Albion' and 'Killamangiro' set to be future classics. The album really shows that babyshambles are the best band of the moment. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics, used to portray everything from his now fiancee kate moss to his heroin addiction (in love with a feeling), to the slightly overlooked track pentonville, sung with the major who he shared a cell with in pentonville. As everyone knows pete has a natural flair with words and in tracks such as albion and up the morning uses his lyrics to paint these images of his world in the listeners mind. Some may argue that pete's voice is nowhere near as good as the legends such as dillan and morrison, but that is completely beside the point, he's got a soft spoken tender sounding voice in songs such as merry go round and the loyalty song, and more brash almost turmoil ridden angst in classic clash sounding tracks as F--k Forever and Killamangiro. Pure genius. // 10

Overall Impression: When you compare the album with other rock albums around the same time, it all seems too set in it's ways, in comparison the the arctic monkeys, whos sound fits the mainstream, therfore, instant popularity is sprung upon the monkeys, but it was never a popularity contest, and the less known down in albion, tears it apart, highlight tracks from the kaiser chief suck as I predict a riot, compare that to 8 dead boys, the music and the content is a complete overwhelming sucess. I absolutely love the album and can't wait for the next album to come out, also to really appreciate babyshambles, go see the band play live. The whole band are on fire at the moment. // 9

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overall: 7.7
Down In Albion Reviewed by: hippytom, on january 21, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: On first inspection, Babyshambles appear to be a bunch of talentless noisemakers. But, if you actually give the band a chance, you find that their music is full of meaning and life. A modern-day British life, that is. Previously, they have been portrayed as shambolic, but I'd rather compare them to the old guys who play the blues everynight. They all know what they have to do, and they'll get there in the end. It's the impulsive decisions to play something different and pull it off that makes them a great band. I'd say there are definate traces of original indie and Britrock influences in their unique sound, although diluted greatly by booze and the truth. I often think babyshambles are what the libertines could've been if Carl Barat would've pulled his head out of his ass. // 8

Lyrics: Pete Doherty is nothing short of a poet. His lyrics and rhyming structure are brilliant. Of course, not every track is amazing. But there is good reason for this. 'Pentonville', for example, was written in a week, whilst Doherty was in prison, writing with fellow miscreants. His lyrics give an insight into the life of a man who has been messed around in the past by bands and family alike. A man who had the oportunity to seize everything, and instead got everything he wanted. His lyrics act as a mirror into his dysfunctional life. Although it can be widely recognied that Doherty doesnt't sing as such, there's no doubting the passion and raw emotion his voice contains when spewing hard hitting, blissfully surreal lyrics, though at times, he seems a bit preoccupied. // 7

Overall Impression: Babyshambles first official release is a dirty, unclean version of the sort of music the libertines produced until Doherty was removed. It is quite hard to choose a favourite track, as most of the album has a sort of contemporary brilliance about it, but who can argue with 'Albion' or '8 Dead Boys'. I love the fact that Pete Doherty, after being removed from the Libertines for apparently taking drugs more seriously than he music, came back around to stick it to Carl Barat with an awe inspiring release. // 8

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