In his dual role as both hero and villain of the current British music scene, Pete Doherty has a hell of a reputation to live up to. After a great debut album and a flurry of enjoyable (and successful) singles with The Libertines, the one-time poet lost his way, became an incoherent, bumbling mess, formed the aptly-named Babyshambles and churned out a quite frankly, awful debut album - one that's resigned to go down as a more of an inconsequential splat than any sort of proclamation of independence in the annals of British indie. Perhaps he needed Carl Barat's songwriting discipline to focus him, and temper his impetuousness; either way, Doherty has miraculously redeemed himself somewhat with Shotter's Nation. It could be down to Stephen Street's guiding force, too - the famed Smiths/Blur producer apparently banned all narcotics from the studio during recording. Whatever the reason, Shotter's Nation is an infinitely more cohesive and palatable outing than its predecessor, with a distinct melodic undercurrent that was starkly absent from Down In Albion. Lead single Delivery rattles along in a Kinks-like bubble, all jangly garage riffs and catchy licks; Crumb Begging Baghead draws from a similar, distinctly '60s Stones/Doors-era template, and There She Goes' Lovecats bassline and lounge-like rockabilly sees Doherty curb his trademark wail in place of a softer, subtler pitch. Tales of excess still abound here and there ("I never said it was clever / I just like gettin' leathered"), but they're altogether more coherent here. It's certainly not the jewel in Doherty's tarnished crown, but Shotter's Nation isn't half as Shambolic as the maligners will have hoped for.