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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Libertines

The Libertines

2004

Buy At Rough Trade
The Libertines
Album Summary

The Libertines is the second studio album by English indie rock band The Libertines. Released on 30 August 2004, it is particularly biographical of the relationship between frontmen Carl Barât and Pete Doherty. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 72,189 copies in its first week of release. The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2006, NME placed the album 47 in a list of the greatest British albums ever. In 2013, NME ranked the album at number 99 in its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The Libertines, like its 2002 predecessor, Up the Bracket, was re-released with a bonus DVD on 22 November 2004. The DVD, entitled Boys in the Band, is a collection of live shows, band interviews, and the "Can't Stand Me Now" promotional video. The song "Arbeit Macht Frei" featured in the 2006 film Children of Men.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.02

Votes

8875
Genres
Rock
Indie

Reviews

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Thu May 25 2023
3

It's not bad, it's the definition of "landfill indie" however, instantly forgettable but does make you feel good while listening so sneaks a 3

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Fri Mar 24 2023
3

You already know an album is going to be a 3/5 at best when you see that the Wikipedia article for it is like 8 sentences long. One of those sentences being: "The Libertines was voted the third-most overrated album ever made in a 2005 BBC public poll." This sounds a bit like The Cla-oh, it was produced by Mick Jones. That makes sense. Yeah, it's exactly what I expected. More British punk - the most important genre in musical history according to this book. Kind of goofy. Yup, it's a 3/5.

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Wed Sep 06 2023
4

Was a fan of the libertines when I was a teenager, proably one of the best U.K. bands from the 00’s Indie scene until the Arctic Monkeys came along. So this is rating has a personal bias to it, a soild 4 star album in my eyes. As a side note I seen everyone is jumping on the Wikipedia sentence that in 2005 this was voted the 3rd most overrated album of all time. Thought it was worst sharing the results of that poll here of that poll for context: 1 Nirvana - Nevermind 2 Coldplay - X&Y 3 The Libertines - The Libertines 4 Oasis - Definitely Maybe 5 U2 - Joshua Tree 6 Radiohead - OK Computer 7 The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 8 The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds 9 Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks 10 The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead Apart from X&Y I’d say that list is full of great albums, overrated maybe, but still great none of the less.

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Sun Mar 26 2023
2

Many people consider this to be Pete Doherty’s greatest achievement. I disagree. Doherty’s greatest achievement is successfully completing a Margate cafe’s Mega Breakfast challenge: if you can eat four rashers of bacon, four eggs, four sausages, hash browns, onion rings, bubble and squeak, beans, two slices of thick bread well as a quarter pounder burger and chips in under 20 minutes the breakfast is free.

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Thu May 18 2023
1

"The Libertines was voted the third-most overrated album ever made in a 2005 BBC public poll."

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Thu Apr 06 2023
4

Scrappy and lively, raffish and fun and very likably, if insistently, cheeky. But it does all seem a bit put-on. One gets that they were pipped to be like the Clash, but they simply ain’t all that, or didn’t work out to be. And the “Stones to Franz Ferdinand’s Beatles” is even more of a reach. Best cut: “Music When the Lights Go Out” and “What Katy Did.” Still, it’s well-made modern rock, with quality throughout, and a clear leader in the aughties division.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

Bepaalde nummers van dit album kende ik al wel, maar ik heb het geheel denk ik nog nooit gehoord. Ik heb Up The Bracket (2002) en Babyshambles - Shotter's Nation (2007) ooit als LP gekocht, dus als ik toe was aan dit soort muziek zette ik 1 van die 2 albums aan. The Libertines is een vreemde band. Eigenlijk klinkt het regelmatig vrij kut omdat Pete Doherty voor geen meter kan zingen, of hij laat het in ieder geval niet al te vaak merken. Andere albums in deze lijst heb ik daar wel eens op afgeschoten, maar dit vind ik dan weer steengoed. Het klinkt bijna als een hoge kwaliteit live-album, met een band die zin heeft om muziek te maken ondanks de vechtscheiding die vrij snel hierna volgde. De gitaren en ook de drums, met name de snaredrum, klinken perfect. Hoogtepunten o.a. The Man Who Would Be King, Arbeit Macht Frei, Campaign of Hate, Road to Ruin.

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Mon Mar 27 2023
5

This album is a post punk/indie rock jam of an album. Definitely the best of the libertines. Ive been a libertines fan since high school and that goes for Pete Doherty's other projects like Babyshambles and this album introduced me and will be a forever punk rock love of mine. I personally rate these projects above their predecessors such as the Clash and The Modern Lovers or anything else similar. The song writing

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Mon Apr 10 2023
5

Saw it was an English indie band and thought I knew what I was getting into, but they avoid all the pitfalls of their contemporaries. Rough around the edges but dialed in when it needs to be. I really enjoy their classic, clean sound. Best track: Road to Ruin

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Mon Apr 24 2023
5

A beautifully chaotic jangly heartfelt piece of work. Five stars for being a pretty clear Arctic Monkeys precursor that I wasn't previously aware of.

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Tue Dec 12 2023
2

Yet another album that seems to have been curated here because the author had a hard time coming up with the promised thousand albums.

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Thu Dec 14 2023
2

The hip sound of a pill-fueled bender. Hard for me to stomach in our current post-ironic hellscape.

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Mon Jul 31 2023
5

A really decent album from the garage-rock revival era. I knew of The Libertines but only really knew of their most well-known tracks, but I enjoyed this a lot - they were a lot more varied than I expected. Their favourite track of mine isn't here, it was only ever a single (No points for guessing which...) but I thought this was great! Favourite: Can't Stand Me Now

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Wed Dec 13 2023
4

Really likeable, catchy melodic punk - the gritty reality lyrical approach of the early Arctic Monkeys and the cockney tunesmith feel of Squeeze - but all on speed (unfortunately this isn't just a simile - it's the truth). I'm conflicted. The music is entertaining but Pete Doherty was such an arsehole, I struggle to separate the two

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Wed Nov 08 2023
3

Better than I expected, given the track record of British indie records from the early aughts on this list, but inessential nonetheless.

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Thu Nov 30 2023
1

Pete Doherty is an insult to my eardrums

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Fri May 12 2023
5

Obviously nowhere near as good as Up the Bracket, but I can't knock it.

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Fri May 12 2023
5

it's about 50% the strength of up the bracket and it was a let down from all the bootleg versions of most of these songs but it's still steeped in nostalgia and there's some cracking songs on there, even if the recordings of them feel a bit sanitised.

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Sat Jul 15 2023
5

Wonderful. That kind of young feeling I like this kind of punk

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Sat Aug 12 2023
5

I loved everything about this one. It's got just about everything I love about punk without actually being punk. The energy, the aesthetics, the devil-may-care attitude, even the little musical tropes of punk... it's all there. It feels like the spiritual successor or the evolution of The Clash. The songwriting is smart and self-aware, the musicianship is so good, the production is fantastic... There's a lot of garbage that seems to have made it onto the list just because it's British. This ain't that. THIS is legitimately great. What a fun surprise.

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Wed Aug 23 2023
5

9/10 amazing stuff throughout fantastic album

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Sat Sep 16 2023
5

The libertines are to me the last true rock and roll band spillover from the 20th century - they’re dangerously falling apart musically and I guess truly at points in their short explosive burst of their original career - of which they barely survived but gave us two records of perfection - with a duo songwriting combo of Doherty and Barat - which echo the Lennon and McCartney phenomenon of being greater than the sun of their parts. This album is meticulously produced and performed - yet the struggles are evident even in the singing performances - the drums are comically overplayed but somehow just for the right amount and the guitars weave in and out dangerously with punk gusto. Doherty barks and mumbles away musically throughout while Barat keeps it grounded and Mick Jones captures it gleefully as it probably reminds him of the shambles the Clash were in their later years. An artful record - maybe maybe not totally perfect as their debut but only by a hair.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

The songs are not as good as they are on Up The Bracket (a six-star album in my opinion) but everything you love about The Libertines is here on the S/T record.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
5

It takes a pair of friends to fight and split up their band to come up with such a raw, beautiful song as 'Can't Stand me Now'. I totally get why people think this record is overrated. But, c'mon. Depressive, kind of catchy mix between 70s punk and 90s britpop? This is totally my kind of music.

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

Ahhh, what a fantastic album. A tour de force. I bloody love this album and it holds up so well. It really takes me back to be being a teenager. The album has such a feel to it. I love the things like random whistles, guitar sounds, shouting etc, it sounds chaotic but all together. Pete Doherty's lyrics are so good, really poetic and beautiful but then put amongst this chaotic sound and the whole world he was living in make such a juxtaposition, it's great. Stay off the drugs Pete.

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Tue Mar 28 2023
4

Yeah that was pretty good. I think I find a whole album of this middle of the road stuff fairly dull but this was more interesting than I'd given it credit for when I filed it away in my brain somewhere. Standout Track: Narcissist

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Fri Apr 07 2023
4

I’m a big Libertines fan- love the energy.

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Thu Apr 27 2023
4

It shows such promise, I just wish it were tighter and more polished.

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Fri May 12 2023
4

A pasty white, sweaty orgy that's got out of hand, but you're still going to join. Give us a hand job whilst I touch your wife's bits, Tony.

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Fri May 12 2023
4

Wow! I really liked this. Sort of Arctic Monkeys meets the Kinks. Great energy. 4 stars.

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Thu Jun 01 2023
4

Better dan ik me herinner. Prima album.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

A modern fusion of garage rock (in the same vein as Franz Ferdinand or Arctic Monkeys) with 60s British soft rock (Soft Faces or the Kinks). It's groovy and catchy with a raw bluesy live-sounding instrumental that takes influence from surf rock. Even hearing jazz in "The Man Who Would Be King". The chords and beats are basic, adhering to the punk style but with distortion put to the max. The vocalists conflict with each other in a fun way, singing different lines or scatting different noises. Tons of highlights, at least three quarters left some kind of impression. This is exactly my type of music, so I fell in love with most of these tracks. I heard "Up the Bracket" is even better so surely checking that out.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
4

This was more enjoyable and catchy than I had expected.

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Fri Jul 07 2023
4

I didn't listen too close to it but I enjoyed what I picked up. A lot of it reminded me of an updated The Cure or something (specifically Just Like Heaven), with very quippy lyrical delivery and hazy production. 7/10

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Sun Jul 16 2023
4

I mean, sure. It’s generic indie, but I like most indie anyway. Enjoyable - you know, even though I liked it, it’s not really noteworthy.

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Fri Aug 18 2023
4

Peppy bar music, with an underlying anger and punkness. They are easy to listen to, but also fun to listen to. Drawling vocals and lyrics, feel like someone is telling you a story. They put together rockabilly, indie, rock, punk, almost a beach rock quality. I definitely hear a barely early Arctic Monkeys and Fratellis sound to them. Favorite Songs: Can't Stand Me Now, The Man Who Would Be King, Music When the Lights Go Out, Least Favorite: Tomblands, The Saga

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Mon Aug 21 2023
4

Classic album. Not quite 5 stars, I will leave that for the best of that combines the choice songs from their first two albums. Some incredible songs, some incredibly forgettable songs. A bit of personal trivia - I was commissioned to design the poster for their first Australian tour around the time this came out. Pete left the band and the touring company swapped so my design didn't get used. As a consolation I got tickets to one of their shows. Unfortunately without Pete in the band it was a bit dull so I left about half way through

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Thu Aug 31 2023
4

J'ai trouvé ca bon pour vrai. Garage punk rock band anglais. Ca aurait pu être vraiment moyen, mais il y ad e la variété dans les chansons. Les voix sont bonne et c'est bien produit, pas trop ''punk'' pour que je perde le gout apres un bout. Assez rock pour que je reste intéressé. 4.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
4

The Libertines' self-titled album is a gritty and chaotic masterpiece that encapsulates the raw energy of the mid-2000s British indie rock scene. Released in 2004, it's a whirlwind of poetic lyrics and disheveled guitar riffs. Tracks like "Can't Stand Me Now" and "Music When the Lights Go Out" capture the band's tumultuous spirit. The album's production is unpolished, perfectly reflecting the band's turbulent journey. Though its rough edges might deter some listeners, "The Libertines" remains an iconic album that documents a chaotic moment in rock history, making it a must-listen for fans of the era and those intrigued by the band's rollercoaster narrative.

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Wed Sep 13 2023
4

Pretty solid honestly. I'm kinda going back and forth with rating this a 3 or 4. On the one hand I like that the mood of the album is consistent and I think that is a mark of an artist knowing how to craft an album as a unified piece of work. There are no songs seem like they shouldn't be on the album. My problem I come back to though is that I didn't fall in love with any songs. Maybe if I listened to more of it I would get more hooked, but I don't know if this is an album I would come back to.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
4

Really good, has punk/dive bar vibes

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Thu Oct 19 2023
4

Like a lot of songs on this album, it's actually quite a good album not favorite but still a good good album. MID to HIGH 7

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Mon Oct 23 2023
4

This one is nice, actually. I was taken back by the cover art at first. But, aside from a song or two, this one was pretty cool. Rather than being a bit one note and forgettable, this one is still fun to sit through. Cool!

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Wed Oct 25 2023
4

Shades of The Clash, which only makes sense since it was produced by one Mick Jones. Even if they're not quite The Clash, this is still a damn good time. I still say these boys had the best amphetamines, which only makes me jealous and won't help this overall rating. Also, we lost the great Richard Roundtree today. I'd probably feel worse about that if I didn't already believe he'd been dead for years. You could say that has nothing to do with this album, and I for one won't argue with you if you decide that's a hill you want to die on. You do you, that's YOUR journey. For whatever reason, this album actually made me smile upon remembering Richard Roundtree's life. In his honor, I'm grading this up a notch.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
4

Jumbled messy stream-of-consciousness junkie logic stories about nothing and everything, from a time guitars were endangered and english kids thought this lot could help bring them back. Interesting and, in the uk, important, and surprisingly good

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Sun Oct 29 2023
4

Era el moment i el lloc idonis. Amb la resurrecció del rock al nou mil.leni, es va crear el conjunt de circumstàncies ideal perquè sortissin bandes com The Libertines. Els seus primers dos discos (tornarien amb un tercer onze anys després) són documents impresicindibles d'aquells anys. Punk rock pulit i melòdic amb temes tan bons com 'Music When the Lights Go Out' o 'What Katie Did'. La personalitat i excentricitats de Pete Doherty ompliria centenars de pàgines de la premsa musica britànica aquells anys, però les seves incursions musicals allunyat de Carl Barat mai arribarien a apropar-se a la seva societat amb ell

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Sun Nov 05 2023
4

Another classic record from my youth. I think actually I heard this one in full before “Up The Bracket” and it totally holds a good space in my memories, but in retrospective I have to say it’s inferior to its predecessor and it drags in the middle for a good while. Having said that, songs like Last post on the Bugle, What Katie Did or What Became of the Likely Lads are awesome and a testament of why this record is on the list. I’ll give it a four and save the five for the debut record (it is on the list right?)

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Wed Nov 08 2023
4

I like the vibes, but the album didn’t hold my attention the whole time.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
4

Was unfamiliar with this band.. I like this album enouyto give another listen..

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Thu Nov 16 2023
4

I was concerned as I realized after very little investigation that this particular record was included in some editions of the 1001 but not the one I was working off of. Usually these records are thought of as being groundbreaking or interesting at the time, and then are pulled for better stuff later. Often these are UK bands. I liked this record. It is "post punk" in every sense of the phrase. It might not be groundbreaking and may be overrated, but it has good energy and I enjoyed listening to it.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
4

I used to listen to them in high school

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Mon Nov 27 2023
4

And, with that, The Libertines had capitulated. The mountain that had offered upward trajectories towards fame, glory, drugs and whatever else was fancied had become too much and the air within it was now unbearable to take in. Regardless of the platonic love (and seeming protection displayed) spilled across the cover and the music, tensions had overflowed as though it were boiled tea in a paper cup and, as though it was it's wont to do, the British rock music scene was again left in a vacuum; which is fitting given everything here sounds ripe for dour and dire lifting and copying somewhere down the line. Yet none of that would sound as good and as dynamic as this. Possibly their very best or just as good as what came before. One of the last times British rock captured true lightning in a bottle. Favorites: Can't Stand Me Now, Don't Be Shy, The Man Who Would Be King, Music When the Lights Go Out, Narcissist, The Ha Ha Wall, Campaign of Hate, What Katie Did, What Became of the Likely Lads.

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Tue Nov 28 2023
4

British 2000s Rock Revival is my shit. I don't like it as much as the Americans and their Garage Rock revolution, but it's pretty good. Nonetheless, I think this is a lesser album of the subgenre. Good! Listenable! Lots of fun! Would have dug it in high school. But not excellent

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Tue Nov 28 2023
4

Perfectly nestled in the Brit Pop strain of early 2000s Garage Rock revival

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Fri Dec 01 2023
4

There are some solid tunes on this album. I’ll definitely check out some of their other stuff.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
4

Pretty decent mid 2000s indie rock. I had a good time listening to it, will listen again.

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Fri Dec 08 2023
4

They burned brightly for a while.

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Mon Dec 25 2023
4

Libertines sind absolute Klassiker für alle die Britpop/Indie Rock mögen. Das Album geht bisschen mehr in die punk Richtung, als die musik vieler anderer Interpreten aus dem Britpop, ich mag das aber gerne. Nur mit Pete Dohertys stimme tue ich mich ein bisschen schwer.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
4

A surprise for sure. Never have heard of this band. Was very impressed with the guitar work. Has a garage rock meets indie... Maybe some blues inspiration in there. The best way I can describe this to non Libertines fans is that they have a Black Keys meets Arctic Monkeys feel to it. At glance from the artwork, I was thinking that was going to be another punk like band... And I was reluctant to hit play. But I was very pleased with what came after hitting play. I would like to revisit this album again at a later date and see if they still resonate with me. Solid listen.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
4

Very early 2000's, Strokes-like, short catchy tunes.

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Mon Jan 29 2024
4

Album cover screams mid-2000s angst. Can't Stand Me Now drops into a more garage/ska/punk vibe than I was initially anticipating. The mix is really claustrophobic, but otherwise, I actually enjoy the song. Music When The Lights Go Out is a lovely, sloppy jam. Rough edges, but the jamming is solid and I like the ascending guitar throughout. Narcissist also is a ripper, and I like the almost surf rock feel of The Ha Ha Wall that takes a darker, more proggy turn around the 1:45 mark. Intro to Campaign of Hate sounds a ton like a Primus song; carries a similar eeriness throughout. Album ends on a calm note with a stripped away acoustic song called What Became of the Likely Lads. I enjoyed this album way more than I expected to. Rough around the edges in the best way, with a lot of different styles in play. I enjoyed most of what I heard with little exception. Was anything mind-blowing? No. Will I listen again? Probably. Solid 4 / 5. - The Ha Ha Wall (Driving) - Arbeit Macht Frei (Skate Mix)

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Fri Feb 02 2024
4

I kind of liked it. Punk garage rock with a clash sound. Will listen again.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
4

I liked most of this one. It kind of falls off though.

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Mon Feb 12 2024
4

Favourite song - music when the lights go out

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Tue Feb 13 2024
4

Loved these guys, too bad pete couldnt leave the heroin alone and they couldnt get along. Could have been much more from them. Great album

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Wed Feb 14 2024
4

Good album! can't stand me now reminds me of a very specific time in my teens, this appeared on some kind of compilation CD. Now I have lots more associations with Luke who regails stories of the Libertines in the Medway scene

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Sat Feb 17 2024
4

I’m a sucker for a British accent. Good songs too!

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Sat Feb 17 2024
4

First listen was okay, I kind of liked it. Second listen was better, I really liked it. A third listen may have had me in love, but we agreed to keep it casual.

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Sat Feb 17 2024
4

I enjoyed the timeless rock sound of this album.

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Sat Feb 24 2024
4

One of the better 2000s indie/garage rock albums on here. I’d say it’s of a similar caliber as The Strokes. Rock on 🤘

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Wed Feb 28 2024
4

I’ve always liked the simple and raw sound of The Libertines and this is their best album in my opinion

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Sun Mar 26 2023
3

Kinda good, I guess. Never heard of them. Couple good tracks. I'd probably listen to this again in the future. 3/5

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Tue Mar 28 2023
3

I know you shouldn't judge an album by its cover but man, this sure looks like something I won't enjoy. Actually, a little better than I expected. Sounds good and lyrically is somewhat interesting. But nothing about it is groundbreaking or genre defining. I didn't mind listening all the way through the album but I probably won't revisit it on purpose and I don't particularly think it deserves a spot on this list. Fave songs: What Katie Did, What Became of the Likely Lads. 2.5 rounding up for not being too boring.

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Thu Mar 30 2023
3

Eh. Like every other mid 90s alt wave band.

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Thu Mar 30 2023
3

My first thought was that this is a good example of a band that should have been yanked from the 1001 list instead of The Killers or Franz Ferdinand, especially reading that they were voted the third-most overrated album ever made in a 2005 BBC public poll. Musically though, simplistic as they are, the song writing is varied enough to keep it interesting and the singer can sing. This would have been a great release in 1978 and it would have been ignored less than it was in 2004.

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Thu Mar 30 2023
3

As background music it has some good hooks. I liked it more than the average British indie band on the 1001. The 3 rating covers a lot of ground.

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Thu Mar 30 2023
3

Unbelievably, for how ubiquitous this was when I was living in London, I've never actually heard this record. First couple of tracks were cool but it's all a bit samey same.

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Wed Apr 12 2023
3

5/10. Not bad by any means, but I can see why it's considered overrated

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Thu Apr 20 2023
3

The music is fine, the singing doesn't so anything for me, the attitude is fairly obnoxious.

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Mon Apr 24 2023
3

I've had a long, odd, unhealthy obsession w Kate Moss & somehow this album became nothing but an extension of that.

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