Listening to: Anthems for Doomed Youth by The Libertines

The Libertines Anthems for Doomed Youth album review

It is again a month since my last post. The last couple of weeks went by so quickly, I was busy with travel preparations and thought I would write a review on all that good music that I have listened to recently once when touching the ground in Asia… yeah, I’m eating my words right here.

Anyway, so one of my recent re-discoveries is the latest Libertines’ album Anthems for Doomed Youth. I say rediscovery because I listened to this fabulous album once it was released in 2015 but hadn’t paid much attention to it afterwards (not sure why, too much good music, I guess).

The Libertines have been one of my favourite bands since the early 2000s and I admit that I even browsed forums back then in order to listen to some demo tracks and be up to date with the band. You could say I know how they sounded back in the good old days, how their solo and side projects went and how it all compares to their latest album. Personally, I liked the Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things as well as Doherty’s and Barât’s solo albums. While the Babyshambles and DPT both were like cousins of the original new garage rock sound of the Libertines, the solo albums were quite thoughtful, almost melancholic and reduced. I thought they were not as easy to listen to but found that they showed important steps in the band members’ careers and personal development. You cannot always stay the same, right?


So what does the “new” album bring to the table? Is it a step further away from the older releases, something completely new or are the Libertines back from the dead with a sound that reminds us of when we were all 15 years younger?


Anthems for Doomed Youth picks up on the old Libertines’ vibe, it offers the right mix of guitars, melodic verses (I always thought that their verses outstand the refrains) and a fair share between Doherty and Barât singing the lines. It is just right and I have a feeling that the band wanted to satisfy their old fans as well as the newer folks (that are maybe less used to the edgy energy between the band members). The album sounds more settled than any of the other Libertines’ discs and side projects while still showing the typical tearaway sound (thanks to some intros and bridges that demonstrate how a song can be more than the usual verse-chorus form).

I say that the album is a goldilocks compilation of songs for any indie rebel rock lover (young or old). It is also a time machine and shows how the sound of the Libertines from the early 2000s is transported to our times: less rough and experimental but with a healthy dose of matureness. The song “You’re my Waterloo” might be the best example for this development; it is one of the old songs reinterpreted in a slightly different way, I say it is softer than the original. (For the record: I prefer the original version but it has always been one of my favourite songs.)

Altogether, it’s a thumbs up from my side and I’m looking forward to the band’s next release which is supposed to see the sun by the end of this year.


PS: I’m sorry I can’t include a video or music link, I am currently in Laos with on-off internet connection and only a smartphone at hand.

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