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Peter Doherty and the sickness of celebrity

Libertines/Babyshambles singer gets contemplative on solo effort, Hamburg Demonstrations

Peter Doherty's singing voice, often off-key and raspy, highlights his vulnerability and makes him that much more relatable.
  • Peter Doherty's singing voice, often off-key and raspy, highlights his vulnerability and makes him that much more relatable.

Peter Doherty’s Hamburg Demonstrations shows us that there is beauty in our imperfections. His second solo acoustic album brings with it folky vibes and a refreshing confessional tone. These songs show us a side of Doherty that is rarely seen in the tabloid headlines.

"I Don't Love Anyone (But You're Not Just Anyone)"

...off of Peter Doherty's <em>Hamburg Demonstrations</em>

...off of Peter Doherty's Hamburg Demonstrations

The album starts off with “Kolly Kibber,” a merry and bouncy indie-pop gem. What makes this collection of songs of note is the flaws that lie beneath it. Doherty often touches on his drug addiction and acknowledges, “only love can heal the sickness of celebrity.”

His singing voice, often off-key and raspy, highlights his vulnerability and makes him that much more relatable. Wild antics are eschewed in favor of steady introspection in songs like the Amy Winehouse-home, “Flags From the Old Regime,” to the Bataclan tragedy-inspired “Hell to Pay at the Gates of Heaven.”

Just because the album is mostly acoustic doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of angst to hold over fans of his earlier work with the Libertines and Babyshambles. While “no pretty rhythms may ease a troubled mind,” Doherty shows that his knack for songwriting can sometimes feel like a curse.

  • Record: Hamburg Demonstrations
  • Artist: Peter Doherty
  • Label: BMG Rights Management
  • Songs: (1) Kolly Kibber (2) Down for the Outing (3) Birdcage (4) Hell to Pay at the Gates of Heaven (5) Flags From the Old Regime (6) I Don't Love Anyone (But You're Not Just Anyone) v2 (7) A Spy in the House of Love (Demo Vocals) (8) Oily Boker (9) I Don't Love Anyone (But You're Not Just Anyone) (10) The Whole World Is Our Playground (11) She Is Far

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