Album review: Peter Doherty | Grace/Wastelands

RELEASE OF THE WEEKPETER DOHERTYGrace/WastelandsParlophone 6953252, £10.76

IT MAY nominally be his debut solo record, but producer Stephen Street drafted in Graham Coxon to be Pete's musical sparring partner, and puts together a winning combination.

In the weird Gainsbourg spaghetti western vibe of 'A Little Death Around The Eyes', his guitar sinisterly snakes around a deadpan Doherty vocal. And the title correctly suggests Pete is in a good writing groove, playing on the French slang petite mort to trembling effect.

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We continue to do the continental with the suppressed exotic shuffle of 'Salome', just Biblical enough without getting preachy, and the lead single 'Last Of The English Roses' returns us to dear mouldy Blighty.

'Arcadie' should be credited as Doherty's latest and best effort to reinvent irreverent English tradition, with a jaunty ragtime guitar and coolly mannered vocal. It also has seraphic pipes, so put whatever you like in that and smoke it.

And cor blimey mate, the 'Sweet By And By' will have you suspecting Randy Newman has entered the room in the guise of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. 'Palace Of Bone' is just a great swinging pop tune with some fantastic clinky guitar from Coxon, and the wistful 'Sheepskin Tearaway' is out of the same top drawer.

Could this really be the same stoned fool posting videos of his chronic duets with his girlfriend a couple of years ago?

Download this: A Little Death Around The Eyes, A Broken Love Song