Slipway Fires

Written by: TL on 24/12/2008 16:19:42

Another quite well known band that released an album which we've so far neglected to review this year, is Razorlight. I remember getting into Razorlight back when they were only just beginning to break into the British mainstream with their debut "Up All Night", an album that instantly got me onboard with its spirited and raw rock'n'roll. I remember seeing them at Loppen, one of Denmarks smallest venues, one sweaty summerday back in 2006, happily ignorant of the magnitude of the success they would soon enjoy both here and in their homecountry, rocketing into top10 charts everywhere with singles off their second album "Razorlight". Since then though, focus on the band's music has dampened a bit, and the media attention they've been getting has been more connected to frontman Johnny Borrell's megalomanic claims that his band would become "the best rock band ever" and that his songwriting was "better than Bob Dylan's". Someone call the asylum, I think we have a case of Oasis on our hands here!

Okay, so regardless of all that, November saw the release of the third Razorlight album "Slipway Fires" and that is the subject of this review, and to be quite to the point, this is the worst Razorlight album yet. The band that started out playing brilliant guitar-driven rock'n'roll already softened up once on their sophomore, but here, things are taken to the extreme, as most of the songs are piano-songs where it frankly sounds like everyone but Johnny have been too lazy to do anything beyond the absolutely necessary to make the songs flow. Considering how Borrell wants to be bigger than Bob Dylan, it's curious to notice how much he seems to have been looking into Dylan's hand of cards, as his tales of urban romance seem more like a songwriter like Dylan's work, than that of a complete rock'n'roll band.

Okay so granted, Borrell's still an awesome songwriter, as he displays with some quite clever lines in especially "North London Trash", which is arguably the best song on the record even if "Wire To Wire" and "Hostage Of Love" are quite solid too. It just doesn't really amount to anything impressive due to the minimalistic approach the band have decided on for this record, as the dense piano moods aren't quite dense enough to make up for the energy the band used to display. Without the ripping garage-riffs and the upbeat climaxes, everything seems to weigh down on Johnny and his piano-boxing shoulders, and while the man surely is a very talented musician, "Slipway Fires" shows that he can't carry it all on his own. All in all it ends up being rather boring and it seems like the band have been too lazy to be bothered with coming up with anything really impressive for this album - which my grade then has to reflect;


Download: Wire To Wire, Hostage Of Love, North London Trash
For The Fans Of: The Kooks, Babyshambles, Maximo Park, Oasis
Listen: myspace.com/razorlight

Release Date 03.11.2008
Mercury Records

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