NPR logo A Song by Kate Moss, for Kate Moss

A Song by Kate Moss, for Kate Moss

'Deft Left Hand' by Babyshambles

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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Deft Left Hand"
  • Artist: Babyshambles
  • CD: Shotter's Nation
  • Genre: Rock

Babyshambles' members make a punk album that feels like a pop album. Richard Skidmore hide caption

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Richard Skidmore

Pete Doherty is Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse rolled into one: a repeat-offending, Kate Moss-dating tabloid staple better known for his drug arrests than for his music. The onetime frontman of the Libertines and the current leader of the consistently underrated Babyshambles, he's the Charming Dickensian Wastrel of Britpop.

Shotter's Nation is supposed to be Babyshambles' breakthrough: It's a would-be punk album that feels like a pop album, filled with great, strummy, messy new wave and bluesy rock songs that frequently recall The Strokes, but are otherwise spot-on.

"Deft Left Hand," the disc's best track, sounds both sneery and sad in that way that only British punk bands seem to manage. Like much of Nation, it's a love song to heroin and to a woman, in that order ("Weakened vessel or better half? / That woman's tears / could be the death of me, oh dear"). It has to be the best song ever written about Moss — and there are presumably a lot — as well as the best song ever written by Moss: "Deft Left Hand" is one of four tracks on Shotter's for which she receives a songwriting co-credit.

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