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Is The Libertines' 'Anthems for Doomed Youth' the Last Great Indie Album?

(18 Posts)
thefutureofpolitics Wed 21-Oct-15 14:12:23

I have been a fan of 'indie' music since the late '80s, I loved what became known as 'Britpop' etc, but it seems to have died a death in recent years. I love good indie albums because when done properly, they have a beginning, a middle and an end, as I feel all great albums should. I was into The Libertines right from the beginning and was very glad to see them back. Lyrically, I feel they are just as important as The Smiths. I have overindulged in 'Anthems for Doomed Youth' since it was released and I can honestly say, it is the best thing I have heard for ages. Beginning, middle and an end? Check; Great lyrics? Check; All the other things that make for a great indie album? Check. What are your thoughts on 'Anthems for Doomed Youth' / The Libertines in general?

SymphonyofShadows Thu 22-Oct-15 08:12:19

It depends what you mean by indie? To me indie is anything that isn't put out by one of the big record labels, rather than a type of music iyswim? This was how it was first categorised - anything put out on an independent label. The term got hijacked.

thefutureofpolitics Thu 22-Oct-15 12:27:17

Thank you for your post SymphonyofShadows, I really appreciate it. Yes, I absolutely see your point, the term really did get hijacked, pretty much why indie as a genre died a death. Despite the fact that the new album was put out by Virgin, the first two albums were on Rough Trade so I would still consider The Libertines as indie. They still have that indie aesthetic and I don't think that will ever leave them whatever label they are on. I think I am more thinking about the overall sound and approach to the album being in the same vein as indie music before the term 'indie' was applied to anything sounding vaguely guitar-driven.

SymphonyofShadows Thu 22-Oct-15 13:26:26

I know what you mean about that particular sound. It's funny to think what used to be in the indie chart when it first came out, iirc Pigbag were in there a lot, and all the Factory stuff such as Joy Division. Someone I know had the first number one, it was there for quite a while.

MoriartyIsMyAngel Thu 22-Oct-15 13:47:44

I don't know. They have had some amazing songs, I love Death on the Stairs and Music When the Lights Go Out.

I only heard the first single from the new album, and I felt it wasn't all that authentic tbh. Maybe fifteen years ago... 'Gunga Din' is a title I'm surprised they haven't used before. They referenced Kipling quite a lot. Those lyrics about living an aimless hedonistic drunkard life when one of them is happily settled in domestic bliss with wife and kids, and the other also presumably needs a nice big record company cheque to fund his new clean lifestyle. At least they've got an album together though (looking at you, Stone Roses...)

Actually as I'm typing this, I think perhaps that's the secret? All these songwriters get older and settled and their material gets dull. Perhaps the trick is to keep dipping back into their debauched pasts? Or maybe I'm too old and middle of the road now, and couldn't recognize a good indie record if it bit me on the arse?

I might listen to it now, see if it bites me or not grin

MoriartyIsMyAngel Thu 22-Oct-15 13:52:02

*I wasn't ignoring Gary & John btw, but they never contributed lyrics did they?

DoreenLethal Thu 22-Oct-15 13:53:32

I was a member of their fan club and got invited to a fair few events back in the day. I was also at the Brixton gig that the NME considered to be the gig of the year. I love them, and played them to death. Also followed their scrapbook blog.

I also waited for around 5 hours for Pete to show at a gig once, and we left at 2am and I never found out whether he did show in the end. We were the only ones leaving, the rest were in for the long haul.

I got tickets to see them in January for my birthday. Can't wait. Live they are just always so edgey.

thefutureofpolitics Thu 22-Oct-15 16:12:12

SymphonyofShadows I completely know what you mean. I remember watching the ITV Chart Show when I was little and waiting for the Indie Chart. I loved it when the songs didn't even have a video and there was just a photo of the artist, usually scrolling around the screen! Oh, those were the days! I remember a lot of Glasgow artists being in the Indie chart such as BMX Bandits etc etc. And yes, I absolutely love Factory Records, endlessly fascinating and all for the love of the music. Was that Spizzenergi (Where's Captain Kirk?) by any chance?

MoriartyIsMyAngel I love the choices you said about. 'Music When the Lights Go Out' is just stunningly beautiful and 'Death on the Stairs' is utter chaos in only the way they could do it. I love 'Gunga Din' (agreed about the title / Kipling referencing) but it is far from the strongest song of the album. I quite like that they held back the much stronger songs for the album to be honest. I think 'You're My Waterloo' is stunning, although it is actually a really old song they have finally got absolutely right for this album. 'Dead for Love' is also beautiful too. There are some exquisite choruses on the album too, something lacking in a lot of music these days ('Barbarians'; 'Fame and Fortune'; 'The Milkman's Horse' etc etc). I also love the wordplay in 'Belly of the Beast'. It is no wonder they reference Kipling et al, because they are capable of writing some stunning poetry. Ha, yes, a lot of the lyrics (most actually) were about that lifestyle in the early days and to some extent still are but in a kind of post-addiction sort of way ('Belly of the Beast') now they are more settled. Hhhhmmm, I won't hold my breath for a new Stone Roses album and don't really know if they should do one for serious fear of disappointment.

I am so glad that somebody is on the same wavelength because I agree about songwriters getting older and their material getting dull. I absolutely love Suede, one of my all time favourite bands, but from what I have heard of the new album, although I like it, it does seem to very much dip back into that debauched past ('Tightrope' for example). I'm still excited for 'Night Thoughts' though.

It is definitely worth a listen but to get the most enjoyment out of 'Anthems for Doomed Youth' listen to it a few times. I loved it the first time I heard it but it gets better and better. And as far as I am aware, it has always been Pete and Carl as lyricists.

DoreenLethal That is so cool about the fan club thing etc and being at the Brixton gig, I remember the NME write up very well! Hhhhhmmm, he was a little unpredictable back then, wasn't he?! He seems very content and happy right now, it is nice to see him all clean and doing what he does best to the best of his ability.

That will be an amazing Birthday treat! smile I hope we can get to see them too but we have been slightly lazy with gigs living in North Wales! Ooh, and if you haven't already seen it, check them out on Jools Holland the other week, they were brilliant and there is a good interview with Pete and Carl! smile

Elledouble Thu 22-Oct-15 16:45:24

Maybe I should give the new stuff a listen. I've deliberately avoided it - I was a massive fan back in 2004/2005 or so and it kind of all got ruined as it fell apart. I was at a gig of theirs in Birmingham that was written about in the NME, with a quote from a fan about "they make my shit life seem worthwhile". That was sort of how I felt about them, and I felt a bit let down as Pete's antics made it a bit embarrassing to be a fan. I met him after that gig, and he kissed me right on the corner of my mouth.

I realise this all sounds really teenage, but I loved them so much - it feels like a special thing I should just leave in the past!

thefutureofpolitics Thu 22-Oct-15 17:16:27

ElleDouble I know what you mean, I was in two minds when I first heard they were recording a new album. I was glad they were but also a bit apprehensive. I feel incredibly happy that their comeback album more than proves that they were worthy of the acclaim 'back in the day'. Pete was such a loose cannon but they did get 'The Libertines' album out of his antics, definitely the best part of Pete's problems. I love that quote from NME and that is a wonderful story about the gig!

Yes, I absolutely agree with you about loving a band so much that it should be a special thing left in the past. That is exactly why I have reservations about a new Stone Roses album. However, I felt the same about Blur and Suede reforming too but I love 'The Magic Whip' and 'Bloodsports', respectively. Maybe those breaks were very good things, time to reassess what the band is all about and what made them great. In the case of Blur and Suede, I feel they were in serious risk of destroying their legacy by the time it got to 'Think Tank' and 'A New Morning', respectively.

Mindysgotswag Sun 25-Oct-15 16:26:13

I'm a fan of most music & will give anything a listen. However, I grew up with Indie music & class this genre as one of my faces. Music when the lights go out & You're my Waterloo are absolutely amazing tracks. Love them to bits!

thefutureofpolitics Sun 25-Oct-15 17:36:52

Hello! Thank you for joining! You sound very similar to me. I grew up with indie music too and it will always be my favourite genre. However, I like things from all sorts of music. I love those songs too, they are such beautiful songs. I also think 'Time For Heroes' is an absolute anthem which should be regarded as highly as something like 'Live Forever'. So many great songs! smile

Mindysgotswag Mon 26-Oct-15 01:04:50

Time for heroes is an amazing track! Grew up with the Libertines all through Uni. They were amazing & very underrated!

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 26-Oct-15 01:28:05

Love the libertines, enjoyed anthems for doomed youth,but it definitely to me had the air of pete being all grown up about it,and lost the edgy raucousness of the previous albums. Had similar riffs and tones as pete's solo album of a few years ago. Perhaps this album is the 'end' of the story, which makes me sad for my teenage self, but pleased for pete my first true love!
He's massively underrated, and the freewheeling pete docherty is still, lyrically and musically, IMO one of the most beautiful and thoughtful albums/collections I've ever listened to. Saw the libertines in Hyde park2014 and they were amazing, but pete was definitely showing signs of age and the hangover from his hedonistic lifestyle

thefutureofpolitics Mon 26-Oct-15 13:59:27

Mindysgotswag and Newaveragebear1983 ...

The Libertines were always oddly very underrated. Pete's antics completely detracted from their music and ability to write a collection of amazing songs. He became bigger than the band itself for all the wrong reasons. I remember seeing the 'Who the F*ck is Pete Doherty' documentary and just remember it all being centred around his addiction and so forth. He was almost a figure of fun for his drug addiction, in the same way that Shane McGowan is a figure of fun for his drinking ... and there is a whole different story, another amazing lyricist who gets attention for all the wrong reasons. 'Time For Heroes' has some of the most important lines in their whole collection ... "We'll die in the class we were born, And that's a class of our own, my love".

I completely agree about the new album having an air of growing up about it and perhaps an air of finality ... I hope not though because I still think they have so much to offer. And I agree that Pete is definitely showing signs of age and coming out of his hedonistic lifestyle. I was shocked at how grey his hair looked but it oddly suits him, still can't get used to it though! Some of the recent interviews with Pete and Carl have been very funny, particularly the one on Later ... with Jools Holland. I think Pete seemed a little embarrassed about his previous antics to be honest an said something along the lines of "We had disappeared up our own arses a bit". They do seem to have grown up a lot ... I see this as their 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads' era, whereas the early days were their 'The Likely Lads' era ... hence 'What Became of the Likely Lads' on 'The Libertines', as well as telling of the band's break up, was also a hint towards what was to come. I like the clean Pete, I think it is a good thing and now hopefully people can concentrate on the fact that they are capable of writing, as you rightly say, some of my most beautiful and thoughtful songs ever written.

thefutureofpolitics Mon 26-Oct-15 17:26:38

"the most ...", not "my most ...", obviously, duh! Good grief, I'm on a thread about bad uses of English and I'm doing it myself!

I love this performance smile ...

penguinsarecool Sat 31-Oct-15 08:24:53

I used to love the Libs when i was growing up. Can't say the new albumhas hit me as much as i hoped. I actually thought the last Babyshambles album was better. Gunga Din is a top song though. I know what you mean about indie music. Don't seem to be many good guitar bands around these days. Its all solo artists and dance and rnb music.

thefutureofpolitics Wed 04-Nov-15 20:58:38

Yeah, it is all meaningless solo artists and no bands these days. I rarely hear anything new that grabs me, so the Libertines album was a breath of fresh air. I watch Jools Holland all the time and even though there is good music on there, so little grabs me and makes me think 'This is amazing' anymore, it's very sad. Keep listening to the new album, I think it gets better on each listen!

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