The Libertines All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade Review: Pete Doherty and Carl Barât land on remarkably firm ground

Troubled millennial heroes pull themselves together for a fourth album.

The Libertines

by Pat Gilbert |
Updated on

The Libertines

All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade



Anthems For Doomed Youth, The Libertines’ first reunion LP in 2015, cast Pete Doherty and Carl Barât as condemned soldier-poets beneath a tattered Union flag. All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade’s punning WW1 title suggests more of the same, but instead it largely sidelines nostalgic tales of old Albion in favour of songs populated with dealers, migrants and young mothers in Juicy Couture tracksuits – reflective, no doubt, of the band’s new base/hotel/recording studio in Margate on the Kent coast. Completing the reboot, All Quiet… sounds distinctly unlike any previous Libertines albums, producer Dimitri Tikovoï beefing up the ensemble group playing with Thunder Thighs-style BVs (the Stones-y Mustang) and even flowing strings and synths (Merry Old England). Thankfully, Doherty’s songwriting rises to the occasion, especially on Shiver and Baron’s Claw, while Barât provides welcome punk zip with Run Run Run and the marvellous Oh Shit. Quite a result, all things considered.


Run Run Run
I Have A Friend
Man With The Melody
Oh Shit
Merry Old England
Night Of The Hunter
Baron’s Claw
Be Young
Songs They Never Play On The Radio

All Quiet On The Eastern Espanade is out now on EMI: Amazon | Rough Trade | HMV

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Photo: Ed Cooke

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