The Libertines - Anthems for Doomed Youth - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Libertines - Anthems for Doomed Youth

by Brian Lange. Rating:9 Release Date:2015-09-05

For me, the first time I heard of The Libertines was on MTV2 with the strange video for 'Up the Bracket', what I deduced was horrible music and an even worse video. But the title track from their 2002 debut album stuck with me for years after that. Over a decade later comes their latest effort, Anthems for Doomed Youth.

As an American listener, there seems to be a definitive sound to British indie-rock. The Libertines have always personified this stereotype. Without a doubt, the lads from London have matured a lot both in song and stature. 

This record stays with you from front to finish. Certain tracks stand out, but none of it is filler; the spirit of a band that isn't yet 'damaged goods' making music in their garage because they love doing it and have something to say.  Not because the record company want's them to or they need a paycheck.  These indie rockers have a proclivity for producing catchy tunes with a pop sentimentality, while having dark and unhappy undertones.  Their title track, “Anthem for Doomed Youth” sounds akin to the poppiness of “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer, with a bit of Blur thrown in, and full of ‘that’s life’ bittersweet sentiments that many of us can empathize with. 

“Heart of the Matter” is perhaps one of the records’ highlights.  Lead singer/songwriter Carl Barât tells the world about “holes in the meaning of my life, but I get by, I get by, with just this crooked little smile”, proceeding to give himself a little bit of his own motivational speech, “you’ll get by, you’ll get by, you’ll get by…”

Because of various personal problems the band was dealing with, the band took a ten-year hiatus from music and touring.  Kudos to these guys for getting it together and producing more music; it is a testament to the passion The Libertines feel for their art.  In a lot of ways, the music seems to act as the anchor in an otherwise hectic world.  The band plays on, because it is perhaps all they have left.  

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