Up The Bracket - The Libertines

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 100
    Not since the Clash has a band evoked so precisely the grime and thrill of young London. [#15, p.124]
  2. 100
    This is music to play in dark, velvety, womblike bars; this is music to play while buying cigarettes; this is music for well-dressed poor people. [May 2003, p.109]
  3. The group's innate intelligence and almost shocking ability to forge something new and thrilling out of typical garage-rock influences always shines brightly through the thick Guinness fog.
  4. Virtually every song on Up the Bracket is chock-full of the bouncy, aggressive guitars, expressive, economic drums, and irresistible hooks that made the Strokes' debut almost too catchy for its own good.
  5. Like The Clash before them, The Libertines draw primarily from decades of rock tradition-- blues, dub, a healthy whiff of the English countryside, and a few gorgeous rock riffs straight from the brainstem of Chuck Berry-- and fuse them into an unruly and triumphant monster of an album.
  6. 80
    This is thrilling, intelligent stuff. [Dec 2002, p.122]
  7. Eventually every song will kick in from a slightly different angle, including faux folk and cracked ballad.
  8. Up the Bracket is the most overbearing UK rock album to come out since Oasis' Definitely Maybe.
  9. Emphasizing colorful vocals over the average playing benefits the band enormously.
  10. More life-affirming than life-changing, on Up the Bracket the Libertines deliver a stellar set of songs that -- both musically and lyrically -- neatly synthesizes the past 40 years of English rock.
  11. They're talented then, but also lucky that the strength of the decent songs outweighs the inclusion of the odd rough sketch, a studio jam, and an outright Chas & Dave-style stinker. [Dec 2002, p.103]
  12. As fun as Up The Bracket can be, it might well be better if the group acknowledged that it's living in the 21st century.
  13. While their occasional reliance on wide-eyed sloppiness isn't endearing, when the band clean up, they have some irresistible pop nuggest in them. [Apr 2003, p.80]
  14. There's definitely something horrid, hairy and horrendously hippyish hobbling these lovely boys.
  15. 40
    Seems an innocuous exercise in regurgitation rather than innovation. [Dec 2002, p.131]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. [Anonymous]
    Jan 5, 2004
    Listened to it time and time and time again, and still love it. Ignore what any naysayers might say - if you like good, two-fingers (or one - I'm English) -up-to-the-world music that makes you want to scream every song at the top of your voice on top of a high building (or is that just me?) then buy this album. I class a good album by the number of tracks i want to skip, and there are none on this one. I could listen to each one twice or even thrice in a row. The English might not be able to land a mars probe as well as Americans, but we can still make damn fine music. Full Review »
  2. Mar 23, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This was the album that made the Libertines legends. And this record just improves with time. It absolutely never gets old. Some of the songs on this album are the best of all time. Full Review »
  3. Feb 22, 2012
    One of the best debut records of the 00's. Full of indie punk tunes. Although the only track I dislike here is Radio America, Death on the Stairs and Time for Heroes are the stand out tracks. Lyrically clever and full of great riffs, Mick Jones really captured the essence of this band here. Showed so much potential, it's a pity they only lasted for one record after this and we were lucky to even get that. Full Review »