Album: Babyshambles

Shotter's Nation (Parlophone)
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Like Annie Lennox, Babyshambles have switched producers for the follow-up to Down In Albion, replacing Mick Jones with indie-pop specialist Stephen Street; and though not as blandly MOR-oriented, the result is a similar smoothing-out of the band's sound, the edgy clangour of their debut giving way to more straightforward performances. That might have something to do with Mick Whitnall's assumption of guitar duties – the closest he and Pete Doherty get to the splintery guitar style of Patrick Walden is on "Side of the Road"; otherwise, the sound is relatively polite, whether they're essaying the drab, bluesy style of "Crumb Begging" or the light, jazzy shuffle of "There She Goes". An obvious standout, its loping bass and neat guitar support a typically disillusioned Doherty lyric. Elsewhere, he bridles at parasite hangers-on ("UnBilo Titled"), and at the way his shame has become public property ("UnStookie Titled"). But the catchy single "Delivery" and thoughtful "The Lost Art of Murder" may be Doherty's best songs yet.

Download this:

'Delivery', 'The Lost Art of Murder', 'There She Goes'