UK rocker Pete Doherty lauded for solo debut

Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:18pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Rocker Pete Doherty has long been a staple of the tabloids, making headlines for his on-off relationship with supermodel Kate Moss, frequent brushes with the law, battle against drugs and stint behind bars.

The 30-year-old is looking to put that behind him with his debut solo album "Peter Doherty: Grace/Wastelands," which puts the "r" back into Peter and, in many critics' minds, establishes him as an act to be taken seriously.

Whether it is enough to appeal beyond Doherty's small but fiercely loyal band of fans is less certain, they add.

"The result isn't perfect, but it's the first album Doherty has been involved with since the Libertines' debut not to require any special pleading," writes Alexis Petridis in the Guardian broadsheet in a four-star review.

"There might still be more to Pete Doherty than an interminable, unutterably depressing comedy of errors."

Doherty's shambolic public image has been partly tempered by a reputation for strong lyrics, earning him the unofficial title of "people's poet," as well as his status as a fashion icon for his trilby hats, skinny trousers and narrow ties.

According to his artist profile on record label EMI's website, the release of Doherty's solo debut was "one of the most frightening things he has ever done."

"They kept telling me in rehab that I had self-esteem problems, so I went along with it, but it didn't really register," Doherty said.   Continued...

<p>Pete Doherty of the Babyshambles performs during the 42nd Montreux Jazz Festival in this file photo from July 15, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>