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Razorlight - Slipway Fires

Judging ‘Slipway Fires’ on its lead single may give an inaccurate representation of the album.

It’s all gone so very wrong for Razorlight hasn’t it. Not that they’ll mind, ‘Slipway Fires’ will still bring the cash in. At the beginning though it didn’t seem to be the money that Borrell was massively fussed about. Maybe it was, his ambition has been no secret. It’s just at the time of debut ‘Up All Night’ it didn’t seem like he wanted to do it like this.

Said debut was a frenzied attack off accessible post-Libertines indie rock. It wasn’t groundbreaking but it did work. ‘Razorlight’ in 2006 watered down this template somewhat for the Radio 2 audience, but now with their third record any traces of the band that Razorlight started out as have disappeared, in a quagmire of terrible pop and nonsense.

It all opens with single ‘Wire To Wire’, which we recently gave a right panning. It makes more sense as an album opener than it does as a single, this however doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s still utter toss. It doesn’t get much better although it does bring in the guitars that are sorely needed and next two tracks are arguably the best on the album. These are ‘Hostage of Love’, which is essentially ‘Kirby’s House’ from their second record and ‘Tabloid Lover’ where we hear Borrell bemoaning the actions of ‘middle class kids’. This is awful in itself and is combined with what may well be the backing track from a 70s cop show. The worst thing about this track however is that it’s far too easy to nod along to.

There’s nothing to say about ‘North London Trash’, other than it is terrible. ’60 Thompson’ starts as an acoustic number which works to an extent yet it’s gradual inclusion of the rest of the band is entirely predictable. There’s the feeling that for once, we could have done with just Johnny and his guitar, as it’s the feeling of intimacy that Borrell & co are so trying for and failing to achieve throughout ‘Slipway Fires’.

From here on in there’s very little of merit to speak of whatsoever. ‘Burberry Blue Eyes’ does deserve mention for having an unbearably bad title though. Towards the end we get ‘Monster Boots’ which nearly brings proceedings back to tolerable before you realise that not only is the song called ‘Monster Boots’ but someone felt the need to stick ol’ Johnny saying “if I see her I’ll tell her you said hi” on the end.

Judging ‘Slipway Fires’ on its lead single may give an inaccurate representation of the album. It’s not all terrible piano balladry. It is all pretty terrible however.

Tags: Razorlight, Reviews, Album Reviews

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