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Down In Albion
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  • It's impossible to mention British rocker and ex-Libertine Pete Doherty without also referring to his highly publicized drug addiction, the haze of which hangs heavy over his band Babyshambles' 2006 debut. Ex-Clash member and punk-rock elder statesman Mick Jones produces with a light touch that's occasionally reminiscent of the Clash's SANDINISTA! album, despite the fact that Doherty and his mates can't quite seem to muster up the same energy as their forefathers. Still, there are more than enough rough gems on DOWN IN ALBION to make the listener want to root for Doherty. "F**k Forever" carries hints of vintage Ray Davies, and "The 32nd of December" is a great pop song in embryo, while the pretty, fragile "What Katy Did Next" laments Doherty's scandal-beset relationship with the fashion model Kate Moss (who contributes backing vocals on "La Belle et La Bete"). Though it's definitely a shambolic affair, DOWN IN ALBION has enough truly splendid moments that it deserves to be heard apart from Doherty's shenanigans.
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