Sound — 9
There were a lot of debates and talks about whether Razorlight (and Johnny Borrell first of all) are gifted musicians after their 2004 debut Up All Night -- will there ever be a sophomore CD? is He any good without Pete Doherty? and the main -- should we believe him when He proclaims himself a genius? Well, here's the moment of truth... Listening to the second album, which Razorlight modesty self-titled, you've got no doubts about their talent -- they are playing with music styles, guitar sounds and song structures so easy and effortless like they've been learning to do it all their lives. The album meets you with an upbeat In The Morning -- guitars here are so sharp they almost hurt your ears -- you get the whole picture of what it's like to wake up after a good party. Apart from being the first song on the album, the track is also the first single. Being written about two years ago, it's the oldest song on Razorlight. America has some wonderful delicate guitar work in the beginning and turns into a huge ballad after the first chorus. Congratulations! It's their first effort to make something necessary for any rock band -- a great stadium ballad. Before I Fall To Pieces has a rolling rhythm and a happy guitar tune that create a careless mood of a late hour in a pub. Bjorn Agren is maturing as a guitar player -- on Razorlight he learned to feel his guitar and create sensible solos. His guitar courtesy is starring in every track -- it even doubts Borrell's only genuis in Razorlight. Idiot Piano (as they call it in a CD booklet) fill-ins, played by Borrell, are almost unnoticeable, but it adds variety to the sound. Los Angeles Waltz sees Borrell aiming to be the next Springsteen and telling us about the difficulties of his life. A charming ballad closes the Razorlight with a sad overtone. The album is full of happy sing-alongs -- after the second listen you'll find yourself not to be able to resist to yell out the choruses.
Lyrics — 8
Writing poetry, Borrell carefully thought it out, but managed to keep it raw at the same time. The band is growing up and it's obvious through their lyrics -- the album's mood is happy with a bit of disappointment now. The guys have learned what it's like to party, now they're learning what an aftertaste is. On Razorlight they're disappointed in love (Who Needs Love) and have a hangover (In The Morning). What sounds like All my life I've been watching a miracle in America turns out to be ...watching America which ruins all the romance... Razorlight make a perky effort for something everybody's only thinking about. It fits their image great. Johnny Borrell's vocals are impulsive, but don't grab you attention. They complete a song and let you enjoy it as a solid piece.
Overall Impression — 9
All tracks are short and the album merely reaches 35 minutes barrier -- the instant CD suddenly ends up just after you start to enjoy it... which only makes you push play button again. There are only 10 tracks on the whole album, but each one of them is unique -- Razorlight managed to give each song a different personality and at the same time fit them all in one record. All tracks are so catchy they'll be playing in your head until it makes you sick. If you've ever been to any Razorlight show, you know how good they are live. I guess the band's biggest achievement is that they've found the way to convert that passionate energy into their records. The legendary producer Chris Thomas (Beatles, Sex Pistols, Roxy, Pulp) did a good job on this one. He made Razorlight sound so crispy new as if the New Wave was just invented a few hours ago. Thomas is famous for making a genre-defining record every decade and Razorlight are hoping it's their time now. Releasing their second CD, Razorlight are healthy ambitious and so self-confident they don't even try to hide it -- you'll find their handprints inside of a CD booklet (well, at least it's more original than their faces).