The Libertines comeback album “Anthems for Doomed Youth” released


Photo Courtesy of Virgin EMI Records

Not every band’s comeback album is as gratifying and satisfying as “Anthems for Doomed Youth” released September 18 by the Libertines.

Alec Lawrenz, Staff Writer

For fans of The Libertines, listening to their comeback record “Anthems for Doomed Youth” is like seeing a good friend that you haven’t talked to for a long time; they have obviously changed with time, but you’re still able to effortlessly connect with them in a uniquely deep way.

“Anthems for Doomed Youth” may have replaced The Libertines slightly-trashy, lo-fi sound with cleaner production and their signature iconoclastic lyrical themes with those of a broken soul’s rugged optimism, but it still shares the energetic songwriting and intensity of their early works, making the music sound both fresh and familiar at the same time.

The Libertines led the UK’s indie rock scene in the early 2000s, but the band inevitably broke up in 2004 and it seemed to have marked the end of an era. In 2010, The Libertines reunited to play a British festival. Since then, rumors of a comeback record have circulated continuously throughout music media, and those rumors became truth this past July with the announcement of “Anthems for Doomed Youth.”

The title-track of sorts, “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” is a slow jam that grows in intensity and slowly builds itself into the anthemic song that its title suggests. The first single from the record, “Gunga Din,” features a reggae-inspired verse and a booming chorus.

Other notable tracks on the record include: “Barbarians,” an optimistic romp about transcending one’s oppressors; “Fame and Fortune,” The Libertines’ retrospective look at their own pursuit of success; “Heart of the Matter,” an upbeat track featuring an eighties-esque synth bass line, in which Doherty and Bârat reflect on the reason for their unlikely and continued success.

“Anthems for Doomed Youth” effectively rejects the typical disappointment of a group’s comeback record. Instead, The Libertines have charged back onto the indie rock forefront with a record that builds upon their excellent repertoire, while also introducing a new direction and focus thematically.