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73. The Libertines – Time for Heroes

12/10/2009

Libertines-TimeForHeroes

“Dangerous” Dave Pearce, Stoke FC manager Tony Pulis, William bloody Hague – there really are fewer more distressing sights in life than that of an Englishman in a baseball cap. And that’s not the only great observation here, either: Time for Heroes is absolutely classic Doherty – romantic, patriotic, world-weary and poetic, this tale of middle-class kids who co-opt left-wing rallies has some lovely wordplay (“the stale chips are up but the hope stakes are down”), arresting imagery (“It’s not right for young lungs to be coughing up blood”) and an off-hand delivery that sees him at his most charismatic. The Libertines were at their best when they were this ramshackle and charming, rallying against the crassness that blighted their beloved Albion. Songs as compactly perfect as this only make Doherty’s subsequent demise even sadder.

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