Jan 06, 2017 Web Exclusive
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Despite seeming wholly dysfunctional, Pete Doherty releases a lot of music, either with his group Babyshambles, or with his original iconic group, The Libertines. Hamburg Demonstrations, however, is Doherty's first solo album in seven years, one he is releasing with an added "r" to his first name, presumably an indication of a makeover of sorts.
The intriguing collage cover of Hamburg Demonstrations is the best thing about this album, which feels unfinished, more like a gathering of demos than a realized, cohesive collection. Hamburg Demonstrations is, in fact, a compilation of songs written over the course of the last 15 years. The idea here might be to bring attention to the rawness of the songs and recording—which is repeatedly mentioned, highlighting vintage equipment and the studio location, which as the title implies is The Beatles' Hamburg, Germany.
Literary references abound on Hamburg Demonstrations from Graham Greene's Brighton Rock on the barely head-bobbing "Kolly Kibber" to Anais Nin's A Spy In the House of Love whose title is used for the song, which starts with the predicable pinging of a typewriter and drags into a dirge-cum-quirky throwaway not worthy of Nin's classic novel's name. Doherty makes the unfortunate decision to include his dragging tribute to Amy Winehouse, "Flags from the Old Regime." And entirely unexplainable is the unnecessary inclusion of the same tired song, "I Don't Love Anyone (But Your Not Just Anyone)," twice, plus an instrumental version. Once is too much, twice is certainly redundant, and three times you're just testing your loyal fanbase. (www.albionrooms.com)
Author rating: 3/10
Average reader rating: 8/10
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