Peter Doherty. A man of mischief, mystery and mayhem, this is the impression that comes to mind from his rowdy days in The Libertines. After a few solo expeditions, this time Peter is back with Hamburg Demonstrations, which breaks free from the shackles of the turbulent lifestyle he is so renowned for leading.
Released on the second of December, album number two weaves a web of acoustic delight, similar to his debut album Grace\Wastelands back in 2009. Tracks like ‘Kolly Kibber’ and ‘Hell To Pay At The Gates of Heaven’ show a softened side of the once laddish London boy, shining a spotlight on how his voice and music has only mellowed with age. ‘Down For The Outing’ scribbles out a story of his maturity with lyrics such as “The good things that I’ve done that give you hope when there was none” being directed at his mother as an apology.
There is a strong theme of tracks that behold a sad beauty, like ‘Flags From The Old Regime’, which is an entrancing swoon dripping with despondency and reflection. Newest single from the album ‘I Don’t love Anyone (But You’re Not Just Anyone)’ makes an appearance with two versions, one being a more stripped back rendition, hammering home his romanticised perspective, and the other being equally as beautiful but more fulfilled.
Hamburg Demonstrations perfects the balance of an alluring collection of delicate and mature tracks, whilst still containing a dash of the old Pete Doherty that made The Libertines so successful. It’s exactly what was to be expected from his second album, running in line with his previous material but still being a worthwhile and gratifying listen. Perhaps for fans of the wilder, youthful Pete, this album won’t satisfy the desire for tracks full of spirit and energy. The likability is based on its statement as a modern triumph, and this makes it worthy for recognition as a piece of passionate adherence.
It would be a massive shame for an album so thoughtfully put together to be ignored. Pete Doherty holds a talent for songwriting and poetry, and this is shown off gracefully in every way with this release.