The personal charm of hard-living Pete Doherty “continues to elude everyone but the English,” said Jeffrey Lee Puckett in the Louisville Courier-Journal. For the most part, it’s not his music that keeps him in the press but a train-wreck life corroded by drug addiction, a criminal record, and tumultuous relationships.

The Babyshambles frontman has been in a “smack-addled” stupor the past few years, but hasn’t squandered all his talent, said Doug Brod in Spin. With Grace/Wastelands, Doherty shows himself to be more than London’s most popular junkie. Perhaps surprising even its creator, the 30-year-old’s first solo album turns out to be the “most compelling record of his career.”

Gone are the songs of “sniveling self-pity” and the “smirking references to heroin and crack,” said Garry Mulholland in the London Observer. With a wastrel’s charm, Doherty breezes from dub reggae to folk rock while lyrics conjure up a romanticized lost England. “Frankly astonishing,” Grace/Wastelands is something Doherty can finally be proud of.