Babyshambles – Sequel to the Prequel
Release date: September 03, 2013
- Nothing Comes to Nothing [MV]
- New Pair
- Farmer’s Daughter
- Fall from Grace
- Sequel to the Prequel
- Picture Me in Hospital
- Seven Shades
It’s been more than six years since Babyshambles put out Shotter’s Nation and now they’re back with their third studio album Sequel to the Prequel. Yes, it’s been a long time, but given the way Pete Doherty’s life has gone over the years, the chances of getting a new Babyshambles album were as low as getting another reunion from The Libertines (that happened just to end things on a good note rather than what happened almost a decade ago). However, some things have changed with their third album Sequel to the Prequel in terms of sound and views.
In terms of the lyricism, there are weird and random ramblings about love, drugs and life present, which is nothing surprising for those who have listened to Pete Doherty’s stuff over the years. However, Sequel to the Prequel‘s songwriting also involves bassist Drew McConnell, whose influence on the album provides it with a mature feel and even includes a nod to his 2011 bike accident in Picture Me in Hospital.
When it comes to the album’s sound, this is the best Babyshambles has ever sounded from a technical and production standpoint. Most of the songs sound pretty melodic in a appealing way and this also applies to the album’s weaker tracks such as Farmer’s Daughter and Penguins, the former suffering from its structure and the latter from its uninteresting subject (a visit to a zoo) tackled not so well. Fireman and Maybelline sounds like the usual indie-punk/rock fare and they are sort-of reminiscent to The Libertines while the first single Nothing Comes to Nothing shows hints of The Cure in it. The highlights from Sequel to the Prequel includes a retro-sounding New Pair, the reggae-influenced Dr. No — it has the same name as the first James Bond film, but this is very fun to listen and sing in concerts — and Minefield, a departue from previous Babyshambles songs which boasts pretty good guitar riffs and has a darker sound that doesn’t get tiring and closes the album on a strong note.
While I acknowledged Shotter’s Nation on my A Life in Music post (if you’re wondering about 2011 and 2012, that goes to The Black Keys – El Camino and Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart, respectively) instead of putting the masterful Up The Bracket in it, that was my way of acknowledging Pete Doherty, whose lyricism and romanticism appeals to me in spite of not being an amazing singer. Sequel to the Prequel is a great album and proves there’s still life in Doherty as a songwriter, but Drew McConnell deserves as much credit as Doherty for this album because he got the band together and has been involved in the highlights as a songwriter — if I’m not mistaken, this is the first time he’s tried songwriting. Bless him, nonetheless.
I’m not sure if we’ll get a fourth album from them in a year or two, but I’m all for it no matter when.
Preview on Xiami | Like it? Buy the album on Amazon or iTunes