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The Libertines - Up the Bracket (Cover Artwork)

The Libertines

The Libertines: Up the BracketUp the Bracket (2002)
Rough Trade

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: ngs091ngs091
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What the Strokes' first album, Is This It? is to achieving American post-punk revival in the mainstream, Up the Bracket by the Libertines is the British equivalent of this mainstream punk resurgence. The difference, however, is that the Strokes still lean more often than not towards power-pop while .
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What the Strokes' first album, Is This It? is to achieving American post-punk revival in the mainstream, Up the Bracket by the Libertines is the British equivalent of this mainstream punk resurgence. The difference, however, is that the Strokes still lean more often than not towards power-pop while the Libertines are punk-pop. Although this revival is done in such a way that it does not so much as lift from the past than tribute it by using the framework molded by such bands as the Jam and the Buzzcocks.

The best element at the Libertines' disposal may also be their worst enemy: the way that they can work a classic hook, or a superb chorus into a song, without forcing it on the listener, but rather inviting it. In other words, the pop elements are not overdone; and that, my friend, is what true pop-punk is about: not overdoing one or the other of the two genres. The bad side to this is that the Libertines can do this so swiftly that after a while that their attuned racket becomes predictable. As often they stick to a formula, although it may be their own formula, it's a formula nonetheless, and that renders it unsurprising.

Songs such as the opener, "Vertigo," and "Death on the Stairs," are both rising and melodic, featuring a nice drum stomp to them, and the third song, "Horrorshow," is a swaggering hard rocker. Yet, soon after that point, the album briefly takes a downturn. "Time for Heroes" and "Boys in the Band" may be even better than the average good song, yet they are also placed at a point in the album in which they should be filled with more ideas, instead of recycling the last few tracks' glories.

Yet, after the worst song on the album, in the un-kinetic, uninteresting and most of all sleepy "Radio America" comes the best song on the album, the trailblazing title track. This is the best example of everything that makes the Libertines work. With its chorus that is as head-boppin' and foot-tapping as it is rockin', to the blitz dynamics of the band at its apex in knowing when to cut it loose and rock out. In the midst of it all is the slurring vocal of Pete Doherty, adding to the stylistic pot to make it a perfect song. This song, as well as pretty much the whole album, also shows the band as great songwriters. They may not always be poets, but they are indeed talented lyricists.

Unlike "Radio America," the similar slow-esque "Tell the King" shows the Libertines can work up a good amount of mood when they want to. Another standout track is " The Good Old Days," which provides both mood and rave-ups in the span of only three minutes.

Whether or not you have the bonus track editions or not (as some new editions have the single "What a Waster" and another song called "Mayday" that is unlisted on the artwork), the rest of the album is rather like the aforementioned tracks ("Time for Heroes" and "Boys in the Band"). They may work, but also do not take the band in any more unique directions for both them and the listener.

That is the Libertines in a nutshell: glory, glory, and hallelujah!

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Hey_ska (November 9, 2008)

Great album, i wonder if a reunion would be good or a total disaster.

godblessthesos (November 8, 2008)

This album is definately one of the best. Great guitar lines. Actual Singing. Good Poetic Lyrics.

With all the people on this site that eat up the repetive retards in Against Me and Dillinger Four its hard to believe that people here don't love this album.

ninjagun (November 8, 2008)

I love this album. It came out in the time of Creed and Staind and all that other divorce rock bullshit. Most of you won't notice, but there are actual songs on Up The Bracket. They have melody and song structure and meaning. That's all been replaced by some suburban brat screeching atonally about how his mom got him the wrong color Range Rover for his sixteenth birthday. Gross. Get your haircut out of my rock n roll!

Cos (November 7, 2008)

What is with all these Brit one album wonders nowadays?

Bloc Party, Libertines, Franz... there's probably more. They all put out fun, energetic debuts followed by really lethargic second (and third....) albums. Are young bands just too blown out from touring the world?

CountChocula (November 6, 2008)

Great album, Libertines were shit hot. Radio America is a class song I reckon

genuinewhiskeyman (November 6, 2008)

Great Album. Best and only good thing they ever did.

And so what if they were emulating 70s pop...dozens on modern punk bands just flat copy 80s hardcore and mid90s poppunk for example..doesn't make em shit by default. And so what if theyre from the middle classes, surely it doesnt matter what the talent comes from so long as its good? That argument is bunk sir. Bunk.

sumwon (November 6, 2008)

Borrowed this cd from a friend and put it on my computer a few years ago. It's one of those albums that I think is too good to delete off my hard drive but not good enough burn to cd. It just sits there in limbo on my I-tunes player.

I like that many of the songs are under 3 mins though. The Boy Looked at Johnny is my fav.

Deadpan (November 6, 2008)

This album was dated on its release, even more so now. This is no substance bullshit, up there with Simple Plan in terms of... well, pretty much everything.

There's not even the slightest hint that they've tried to do anything than sound like a bunch of bands from the 70s. Generic fucking pub-rock, that upper-middle class idiot 15 year olds like to call the "voice of a generation". Yeah, right. What is it with the US always buying into UK indie bullshit? I figured these guys were the complete antithesis of what punk is supposed to be - just a bunch of bandwagon jumping, talentless morons who just want an excuse to buy smack. Oh no, wait...

SlowStupidHungry (November 6, 2008)

Heard this a couple times when it came out. Never heard much "punk" in them. Seemed like another limp English pop band that got hyped way before their time and did the stereotypical cartoon "crash and burn." Attention England: Acting like the Rolling Stones does not the Rolling Stones make you. Putting out one or two records and descending into drugged out clichedom just makes you a charicature of every shitty Behind The Music.

Wanted to like it. Tried. Failed.

franco (November 5, 2008)

I love the Libertines. When I first heard them I thought they had a Clash feel to them. Now I've heard Richard Hell and I think this is a HUGE influence on them. Anybody else agree?

chokingvictim (November 5, 2008)

amazing album, despite how many people are gonna shit on this since it's punknews...

bluexmaslights (November 5, 2008)

this band is punk pop??

branden (November 5, 2008)

hate this band.

codu (November 5, 2008)

Great album.
When I look at the likes of Dirty Pretty Things or even Babyshambles today, I can't help but feel nostalgia towards the glory days of the Libertines.

That said, i'd never call for a proper reunion.
They all piss me off now..

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