Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Babyshambles: Shotter's Nation [Astralwerks, 2007]
People put up with Pete Doherty because he's capable of melodies so endearing that his beleaguered band falls into place around them. Then he falls down on top of the band. I know nothing about what drugs he took here and oppose them pre-emptively anyway. But claiming there's no music on his best album since the Libertines' debut would just be a lie. Seems wispy until you concentrate because--unlike that debut, which it otherwise resembles--there's no punk propulsion to power the music over its own vagaries. But once again its vagaries are its distinction. Doherty makes a case for flat-on-your-ass alienation in an insane wartime culture. But please, don't go out with him. Kate Moss can fend for herself. A-