Time For Heroes: The Best Of The Libertines

The Libertines. Rough Trade.


Before repeated drug busts turned him into a tabloid fixture, Pete Doherty sang for the Libertines, who imploded in 2004 after just two albums. Ostensibly the expression of uncouth British kids, the deceptively smart songs on Time for Heroes mix the rough grace of the Clash (whose Mick Jones produced several tracks) with poignant melodies reminiscent of the Kinks. Scrappy rock and roll chronicles turbulent lives where the search for meaning is punctuated by substance-fueled excess. Surly outbursts (“People tell me I’m wrong / Fuck ’em!”) alternate with surprisingly vulnerable interludes (“But since you said goodbye / The polka dots fill my eye”). In songs like “What Became of the Likely Lads,” the results are downright heartbreaking.

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  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.