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When writing about The Libertines I’ve always referred to their gigs, ’cause their live performances are what made my last year: from Hyde Park on, I’ve just been walking a beautiful path of wicked concerts and moments in the name of Albion.
In the background, for this whole year, something… it being a hope, a look to the future, a glimpse of a new beginning… their new album, “Anthems For Doomed Youth“. I’ve thought of this album as something that finally would have marked their new story.
The wait was long… after the official announce in December, a long way of pics taken at Karma Studios, some demos, the first single – “Gunga Din” – and its video, then a few other songs taken from the album. All these little pieces made me think that the album was gonna be great, and really count the days to finally be able to listen to it.
When the album was released, on Sept. 11, that definitely was not a good day to me: the bitter taste of what happened in Camden just the previous evening made me feel uncomfortable as I was heading to Berlin to see the guys at Lollapalooza.
It was not an easy departure, but I was sure that spending a lovely weekend in this city – that means so much as a milestone in my personal Libs story – would surely help me and make me feel better. And I was right. The weekend passed with a lot of laughs, walking, lovely places, amazing nights at the festival and a heart full of joy as I was flying back to Milan.
And those, basically, are all the things I usually feel when being around the Libs.
It was only in the last few days, back here in Italy, that I could listen to the whole album. All the songs – the ones already heard and the brand new ones as well – sound great, intense, self-referential, strong and beautiful. “Glasgow Coma Scale Blues“, “Barbarians” and “Heart of the Matter” are pure adrenalin rush. “Fame and Fortune“, to me one of the highest points of this album, is a smashing tune with an immediately catchy melody telling the story of certain young boys facing fame’s high and lows: it makes you dream of instantly being hanging around in London (full of love, hate, rage and desire at the same time). “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and “The Milkman’s Horse” are delicate and intense, featuring beautiful melodies and words drenched in a river of love, pain… and hope, again. Then “Iceman“, the amazing peak of this album: a rare pearl of sweetness and melancholy, in which Peter and Carl’s voices perfectly fit together to communicate a deep sense of poetry… I see myself walking during “those winter nights”, beside someone you know you shouldn’t be with or who’s most probably gonna disappear: but you just keep on pushing away the awareness of pain, living the moment as it would never end. This song really brings me to tears everytime I listen to it: it’s just magical, and I know that only Peter and Carl could write something that moves me in such an astonishing way.
This album lays on a fine balance between past and present, with the release of tracks such as “You’re my waterloo“, “The Bucket Shop“, “Love on The Dole“, “7 seven deadly sins” and the beautiful “Lust of the Libertines“… a symbol, like showing everyone that they can now complete what they weren’t able to do in the past… It’s a story that continues, with characters well aware of their past but ready to swim into their future.
The Libs essence, that pulsing heart that shook the music scene during the last decade, it’s still there. Plus, a wiser touch completes the songs with detailed sounds and mature lyrics, making this album a real pearl. Not only for the Libertines’s career, but for the music scenario as well: a scene lacking of passion, truth and spontaneity. Instead, the Libs are all of this together, and their last work proves it well.
Last but not least, this is the first album of the Libertines I can really live: not something I discovered afterwards, but something I can now live all the while. I love to say that this definitely is “MY album“: the months the guys worked at it were the same months I deeply felt into them, living moments and emotions I can barely find the words for. And this album is mine, but is for all the people who love and support the Libertines, too, it being a few months, it being 13 years. “Anthems for Doomed Youth” is the greatest gift the band could do to their fans: a direct, honest and human peak of music, revealing a lot of what became of the likely lads.
Peter and Carl are still the same boys who started singing and playing together, with that sparkling light in their eyes as they look to each other: these ten years gone by divided but paradoxically bound them together. They now seem more
aware, of their mistakes, of their skills, of their goals, of their relationship: and all these things shine and sound in this album.
A new beginning, a new chapter, a new story. And that’s why I feel this definitely is my album, too: ’cause it sings directly to my heart and soul, shouting at me that a new story is there, just in front of me, and that I only need to find the right way to write it.
Up The Libertines!
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