Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Last Of The English Roses, Peter Doherty

So, Pete is finally getting round to releasing that anticipated debut solo album, and this is the first single, to be released on March 9th in the UK? Brilliant! I bet it sounds like The Clash gone acoustic-folk with worse vocals.

Well, I was kind of right. The song opens with surprisingly electronic noises and slightly off-beat drum machine, not like Peter's previous efforts with either of his bands. It uses fairly simple chords which make you want to sway slightly and hum along. The voice comes in and it's recognisably Peter, completely void of saleability and yet perfect to give everything a bit of originality and edge. The vaguely poetic dystopian lyrics are what we've grown to expect from Pete Doherty; "She almost spilt her lager toasting girls of great beauty" and "You were slapped by that slapper and how we all laughed, but she laughed the loudest" for instance, have a certain charm in their simplicity, and when sung in that not-very-tuneful but endearing way that Doherty has down to a tee, they paint a vivid picture.

After a minute or so, it becomes a little repetitive, and the chorus is a let down after the build-up: it just continues to plod in major chords and the rather interesting homoerotic vibe is killed with a 'she'. (I'm certain he says 'coming out, coming alive' at one point, see, and there is gay kissing in the video. I'm not making it up, see for yourself.) It fizzles out in the end without really doing much, though it was a nice listen throughout and didn't get too dull after 3:54.

Overall, I like the song, I'd say 7/10, for the unusually relaxed tempo, good lyrics and memorability. However, I hope the upcoming album ('Grace/Wastelands', out in the UK March 16th) has more passion and grit to offer than this track, because to be honest, it's a bit...well...nice. A bit Radio 2.

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