Written by: TL on 27/07/2006 18:06:27

After enjoying a relatively cool Razorlight show earlier this year and hearing some of the songs from their upcoming album before it was released, my hopes for the self-titled sophomore effort had risen quite high. To those of you that don’t know Razorlight, the band is a typical British rock'n'roll/Britpop band that plays songs with an attidude and an edge of punk. Back on their debut "Up All Night", Razorlight delivered 13 songs that, even though not sparkling with originality, made you feel that this was the way good old fashioned rock’n’roll was meant to be played.

Because of this, my disappointment was considerable after I had given the new record a spin. The new songs I had heard live were every bit as energetic and... frankly as great as the ones on the old album, but on the new album Razorlight has obviously chosen to turn the volume down. After recovering from the initial blow that came in form of this discovery, I did however listen to the album some more times with a more open mind, and to be fair, it isn’t as awful as I initially judged it to be.

Sworn fans must be warned. Do NOT expect the explosions of energy that were almost a given in any of the old Razorlight songs, because they’re not there in the new ones. The songs are slower, more quiet and more polished, and if you’re expecting another "Up All Night", your mood is about to take a dive. Instead, put on the record, open your ears and your mind, and start searching for ‘the Razorlight feeling’ in there, and eventually, you will find it. One thing the band hasn’t lost, is the ability to write great catchy songs, and already on the first listen, the brilliant "Back To The Start" and the radio friendly first single "In The Morning" stand out. On the second listen, the quiet mood of "America" starts shining, but it isn’t until you start paying attention to "Fall To Pieces" and the following track "I Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Got" that you’ll discover what, in my mind at least, are the best things this album has to offer. These songs hint of the moods, attitudes and rhythms that made you fall in love with "Up All Night", only with an approach filled with more optimism and less energy.

Overall, this is a CD filled with good songs, complete with the Razorlight mood, but even though it’s hard to say that this is not good stuff, if you know the band, you’re left with the feeling that this could have been a good deal better. Because even though the album is a grower, and even though it’s somewhat better than average, it isn’t quite worthy of its predecessor.


Download: Back To The Start, Fall To Pieces, America
For the fans of: Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines
Listen: Razorlight.co.uk

Release date 17.07.2006
Vertigo Records

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