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Babyshambles Down In Albion Review

Album. Released 2005.  

BBC Review

On paper it's a terrible record. The thing is, it isn't terrible at all. It's superb.

Matt Fernand 2005

Down In Albion is a mess. Stylistically, it tries to cover all bases, from spiky indie rock to reggae, with a touch of acoustic balladry and even rap (the bizarre "Pentonville"). Furthermore, Pete Doherty's vocals are often little more than an incoherent mumble, and the album is at least four songs too long. On paper it's a terrible record. The thing is, it isn't terrible at all. It's superb.

Despite the chaos somehow everything falls into place. Patrick Walden's twitchy guitar work compliments Doherty's yelps, and both are kept in check by solid bass playing and drumming. "Albion" is beautiful, "The 32nd Of December" is the (im)perfect pop song, and opener "La Belle et La Bette" features Kate Moss vocals and still sounds great.

Maybe imperfection's not such a bad thing, after all...

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