Album Reviews: Razorlight by RazorlightRazorlight's debut album, Up All Night, went platinum in the U.K., but went pretty much unheard in the States. The band most likely suffered from being at the tail end of a long line of garage-rock revivalists (The Strokes, The Vines, The Libertines) and frankly having the worst band name of the lot. But I still contend that Razorlight is the best of the bunch and ultimately will be around the longest. Having said all that, I'm slightly disappointed by their eponymous sophomore effort. It's a much slicker and sober release that lacks the shambolic beauty of their last album.
That's not to say that it's without its charms. In fact, this album has two extremely strong singles begging for Top 40 placement. "America" (which I can only assume is going to be the next single) is the obligatory "hold your lighter up" song. Johnny Borrell sings how his whole life has been about watching the panic in America. It's sung without judgment or criticism and could grab the ears of rock and pop lovers on both sides of the pond. And the first single, "In The Morning," should be blasting from every dorm room this fall. The album's first half is virtually flawless and begs repeating. Chris Thomas' production on "Who Needs Love" and "Hold On" is exquisite and somehow got this group of rowdy rockers to sound like Motown via Springsteen... without completing sucking the venom out of them.
But I miss some of that venom from their debut. The songs mentioned above are tracks 1-4. The other six tunes are solid and the album is without slack, but I didn't find anything beyond the first four songs compelling enough to come back to. Are four well-produced, bound-to-be-rock-anthem-classics worth the price of the whole CD? Absolutely. And this is ultimately going to age very well for Razorlight as they become arena rock gods in the years to come. - Doug Kamin
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