on April 12, 2000
The writing was on the wall by the time Peace and Love was released, but Hells Ditch, The Pogues' fifth album, signalled the end of an era. By this album there was little left of the raw vocal and musical energy and Celtic flair that made The Pogues so famous. Instead this album awkwardly explores a wide range of musical styles, and frontman Shane MacGowan sounds so bored and drunk that the music has to carry him through the entire album. In fact he was so distant from the band by this time--largely because of his drinking habit--that he only sang about half the songs on the album. (Not surprisingly, this is the last Pogues album with MacGowan as a band member.) The magic was clearly gone by this time, and they never got it back. Overall this is a decent album, but is a profound letdown by Pogues standards--hence the 2-star rating.
on February 21, 2007
I've been listening to Music for decades, and having heard every album The Pogues have ever released I can honestly say this trumps them all. I can also understand why it was so unappreciated by fans... they did something unique... something they had NEVER done before. Hell's Ditch is some the most interesting music I've heard, from 'Sayonara', to 'Lorca's Norvena', to 'Sunny Side of the Street', to 'Rain Street', to 'Hell's Ditch', absolutely everything on this album is so musically brilliant, it's impossible for me to give less than 5/5... if I could give it 6/5 I would.
Shane's unique voice and persona make this one of those albums you will never forget. I've made a habit of putting this album on about once every few months, if I feel down, it makes me smile. I am telling you right now, if you have never heard The Pogues - Buy this first. If you're a Pogues Fan and have never heard this album... Buy it now...
This album's reaction reminds me of the hardcore fans who hated Bob Dylan once he went electric. Look fellas, so they moved away from the drinking music... they evolved. I'd much rather listen to something that inspires me. Something with a lot more substance than bar music.
No, I'm not knocking their early work. A lot of their early stuff is FANTASTIC. 'Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash' is a good example of their unique sound that makes them timeless.... but again, Hell's Ditch EASILY trumps it.
This album is a true gem, which is rare in music. It's my all time favorite album, and any price is a bargain for something this great, as far as I'm concerned.
on March 24, 2013
The Pogues have never sounded more on fire than this CD. A must have and one of my favourite Pogues CDs. As a longtime Pogues fan, I think there's not a bad album they made with Shane McGowan, but the writing and performances are so strong on Hell's Ditch. This is truly one of my all time fav CDs of all time. A must have for your collection.
on May 29, 2002
This has been one of my favorite albums for the past ten years. The music has a smoother edge than much of the Pogues earlier work, but explores deeper emotions through its richer writing. Perhaps it is the songs of Asia that attract me most, but this is an accomplished album that gets better with every listening.