Release Date: Oct 4, 2010
Record label: Arcady
Genre(s): Britpop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock
At the time he met [a]Pete Doherty[/a], recall, [a]Carl Barât[/a] was studying drama. This is an easily overlooked biographical detail. Unless you’ve recently been listening to Barât’s solo album – in which case it feels like the Rosetta Stone to his entire character. Somewhere, half-an-hour in, this record’s company will assure you there is a box in his mum’s attic marked ‘Carl’s Uni Stuff’, filled with a beret, a swathe of Camus paperbacks and a collection of tasteful knitted scarves.[b]Carl Barât: The Album[/b] is entirely in thrall to a certain very undergraduate view of sophistication.
This week Carl Barât – the Rick to Pete Doherty's Vyvyan in the Libertines' own take on The Young Ones – aims to ride the wave of his old band's successful Reading/Leeds festival reunion with the dual release of his first solo album and an autobiography, Threepenny Memoir. Unfortunately Brecht and Weill need not worry about being upstaged by either. This self-titled snoozer misses any of the zip that made the Libs and, to an extent, erstwhile offshoot Dirty Pretty Things arresting.
A well-crafted solo debut that, try as it might, can’t hide from its maker’s past. Martin Aston 2010 The Libertines’ recent festival reunion was blessed – legends-in-their-own-lunchtime (well, they didn’t last very long) overcome bessie-mate bust-up to deliver a ‘greatest’ set list minus the ‘hope you like our new direction’ part. But there’s a touch of the curse about it too, as Carl Barât’s solo debut album has the tough task of very quickly following the band’s comeback.