Shotter's Nation

Studio Album by released in 2007
Shotter's Nation's tracklist:
Carry on Up the Morning
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Delivery
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You Talk
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UnBiloTitled
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Side of the Road
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Crumb Begging Baghead
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Unstookie Titled
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French Dog Blues
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There She Goes
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Baddie's Boogie
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Deft Left Hand
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Lost Art of Murder
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Shotter's Nation review

Free, insane and anti-commercial

Scandals and rumors remain inseparable part of Pete Doherty's life during his entire career. Drugs, arrests, relations with celebrities – it all merged into an endless string of events, which has gradually overshadowed his musical success or, to put it more precise, became equally important. However, it is worth admitting that Doherty as a musician managed to achieve much more than just enviable status. Only two albums released with The Libertines made him a real icon of British rock. Thousands of young people inspired by this band began writing poems, composing songs and making bands of their won. He is free, insane and completely anti-commercial – isn't that an image of a real rock star, which modern music world lacks so badly. Of course, it all could be credited as a casual success, such things do happen indeed, but Pete Doherty is still here even after the split of The Libertines. The first album of his project Babyshambles was a pretty convincing evidence of Doherty's talent. Nevertheless, it is still early to judge by one single record, let's see what Babyshambles prepared on their new album Shotter's Nation.

New sound – new problems

The album's main intrigue is Babyshambels' resettlement to major. The fact speaks for itself. So don't expect any frivolous experiments and undisguised garage dampness, the more so because the band changed producer along the way either. If their first album was produced by none other than Mick Jones – ex-guitarist-vocalist of legendary The Clash, than Shotter's Nation was guided by Sephen Street, who knows about indie rock a lot but still has more traditional views upon sound recording, at least judging by his recent works (for example with Kaiser Chiefs). Shotter's Nation sounds definitely different from Down In Albion: the gloomy chaotic air and randomness transformed into a pretty typical indie sound, which can be found on the albums of the majority of British bands. But this is not the point, the main thing is that Babyshambles behave as if they decided to adapt themselves for the standards of this particular sound and composed a number of pretty appropriate songs. New compositions sound predictable quite often, Delivery or Baddie's Boogie for instance are good songs by their own merits but they wouldn't sound out of place on the album of some other indie band.

A step towards mainstream?

Now let's dwell upon good points. First of all, in reality everything is not that bad, the album does have good songs indeed. For example, You Talk or Side Of the Road. These compositions sound interesting, distinctive and simply great. They have lots of unexpected hooks and a whole bunch of fresh ideas. Secondly, Doherty's vocal became livelier and more dynamic, which actually looks far better in comparison with his too tranquil manner represented on the first album. And thirdly, the objective view upon Shotter's Nation reveals a whole mass of changes that are usually considered as positive. The sound became more accessible, the performance more confident and the material more distinguishable. A step towards mainstream? Too questionable to be true, despite everything Shotter's Nation can't be called a commercial album. Even if Doherty wanted to make a pop record he has obviously failed. Shotter's Nation is rather a blank shot; its advantages kill disadvantages and vice-versa. The album sounds pretty convincing from the point of casual listener and "it could be better" form the point of that mission that public has put on Doherty. In a word, everything is up to you. As a whole this album sounds better than just "OK".