Monday, August 02, 2004

a conversation about the Libertines...

The Libertines - The Libertines LP

ME: It's just not very good, despite the hype. In fact, it's a shambolic, under-produced set of half-songs and demos which sounds unfocused and half-assed. And it's only got a couple of decent tunes.
me: That's true. You can see why Mick Jones, who produced the record, loves it though; it's a homage to the Clash, complete with faux-Strummer, half-illegible vocals and brittle Jones-ian guitars. It recalls that swaggering, almost effortless late-Clash period where 'Sandanista', 'London Calling' and 'Combat Rock' just oozed with new songs; half half-baked, half genius. Only without the genius.
ME: And that's not all. Anyone familiar with early, ramshackle Blur will hear plenty of echoes, too.
me: Yep. And 'Narcissist' is clearly an attempt to sound like The Kinks...
ME: 'Campaign of Hate', meanwhile, is just 'I am the Fly' all over again.
me: And 'Tomblands' is pure Clash. But it's pretty good, actually.
ME: You think? Blur's 'Think Tank' was a magnificent, inspired Clash-influenced album. This is just a photocopy.
me: Perhaps. But for all it's flaws I think it's a strangely likeable record - the stumbling, obscure singing, the loose guitar playing, the drums which sounds like they were recorded in a cardboard box, it all reminds me almost of...
ME: Don't compare it to 'Slanted and Enchanted'!!! Don't you dare.
me: OK. It's not a patch on 'Slanted and Enchanted', that's true.
ME: It's not a patch on 'Terror Twilight' either.
me: When are you going to admit that Pavement weren't as consistently brilliant as you'd like to believe???
ME: (says nothing).
me: Either way, some of the songs on 'The Libertines' are pretty good. 'Can't Stand Me Now', 'Music When the Lights Go Out', 'Tomblands'...
ME: 'What Became of the Likely Lads'?
me: Yes! Ok, so it's derivative, under-played and only has emotional currency because of the poignancy of the lyrics (Carl sings "If you pipe all summer long / Then get forgiven in a song / Well that's a touch, my lad") - but it's kind of fun! It has an energy and drive you won't hear in, say, 'Franz Ferdinand'.
ME: I'm not that bothered about that record, either.
me: You only say that because you're not sure whether it's cool to like Franz Ferdinand or run them down.
ME: OK. So it's got a couple of good songs on it. What about the grimmer moments? What about those awful melodies on 'What Katie Did'? The 'la la la' chorus on 'The Man Who would be King'? How about the Doors-like dirge of 'Road to Ruin'?
me: That one's awful.
ME: It is. And the pisspoor far outweighs the good on this record. As for energy and drive, they sound like they can't be bothered on half of this LP! Getting Mick Jones in again just means it's a tired re-run of the band's previous sound (and the sound of their heroes), a re-hash. I want to hear the lyrics! I don't want a song to fall apart half way through. Nor do I want a load of rusty, lackadaisical playing. Except on 'Slanted and Enchanted'.
me: But here's the question - will you listen to this album again?
ME: That's not the question. The question is, why are the NME proclaiming this lot the greatest band of their generation!?
me: Will you, or won't you?
ME: I will. Soon, perhaps. It's quite an intriguing record.
me: Told you.
ME: Hmm. But it's rubbish.
me: Right.


Anonymous said...

Is this out yet? Where did you hear it?

jonathan said...

Well, I certainly didn't access it via an illegal filesharing site, if that's what you're getting at!

Anonymous said...

pete is really fit har har and cool so theyre music is great

Anonymous said...

i've met pete d, since b4 he was famous and had an arguement with him. hes a fucking dickhead!

i know carl too and am best friends with his sister. all

Natalia Ulla said...

Carl stabbed his sister when he was a kid. He told me that once, I swear. And he also used to live in a commune when he was little.

Just some curious facts

Libertines said...

ahh something refreshing and not emo-ish. i love emo
but i've been trying to get away from it all morning on
purevolume with my only success coming in the form of
the libertines. thank you guys.