Why is Babyshambles’ Down in Albion on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I still turned out to be a huge Babyshambles fan, didn’t I?
What does Babyshambles’ Down in Albion mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Many years ago, back when I was helping to run a blogging community (yes, this was when blogging was still a thing) called Blogcritics, a friend of mine named Aaron (who sometimes went by The Duke) from Northern Ireland announced that he was excited about a new album by Babyshambles.
Babyshambles, I thought? What kind of band name is Babyshambles? And there it remained for some time, even after I became quite a fan of The Libertines, and sort of knew that Babyshambles was formed by The Libertines’ talented, troubled, turbulent front man Pete Doherty.
During the (very very lengthy) research phase for this here best 1,000 albums ever project, I threw on some Babyshambles, and something just clicked and from that point on I was like, “You know what, I’m a huge Babyshambles fan now.” Down in Albion was one of the last albums that made it into the mix of albums being selected for the “top 1,000,” and it made the cut because – as I was discussing recently with regard to Parquet Courts (Human Performance, #722 of best 1,000 albums ever) – that at a base line I at least kind of like just about every song the band produces.
Some bands and some albums simply compelled me to find a spot in the “top “best 1,000,” in other words, and Down in Albion is one of them.
“Sticks and Stones” is my favorite song on Down in Albion. It reminds me a bit of The Clash’s forays into reggae and ska, but finds its own slow-ish groove in mapping the band’s post-punk-y garage sound to a light ska groove. “Sticks and Stones,” like most of Down in Albion, has a casual, loose, and almost thrown together sound at times – like you’re hanging out with the band while they’re rehearsing. And I can understand why this would turn some off (like the All Music review, if you’ll note above). But as I say, I’m a huge fan of Babyshambles now!
“F*** Forever” has a sound that you’ll recognize if you’ve listened to The Libertines, but the song and Babyshambles do have their own and somewhat more eclectic flavor. The chorus on this song touches on Doherty’s genius for building songs to a rousing arena-level peak of sound and emotion while maintaining a strikingly original post-punk garage-meets-alt rock sound.
“8 Dead Boys” adds a really nice upbeat new wave vibe to the mix.
Some stats & info about Babyshambles – Down in Albion
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Garage Rock Revival, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Punk Revival, British Bands
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 2.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Down in Albion released? 2005
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #720 out of 1,000
Babyshambles’ Down in Albion on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.