Review: Jack Foley
FOLLOWING the happy-go-lucky success of singles such as Stumble
& Fall and Golden Touch, Razorlight have placed
themselves in that bracket of Britain's 'bright young things',
alongside the likes of The Libertines and their ilk.
The debut album seems to suggest that the tag is warranted, for
in many peoples' opinions, these guys might just succeed, where
some of their more illustrious hot-tips have, well, stumbled and
Up All Night is a terrific debut, driven by Johnny Borrell's
cheeky vocals, which intriguingly provoke comparisons with the
likes of The Libertines' Pete Doherty, while also demonstrating
the ability to take on early Dylan, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, and
that cheery cockney style of, say, Graham Coxon.
The Cocker experience is best exemplified during the opening
moments of Vice, while the Coxon-style is best encapsulated
by title track, Up All Night.
The themes are fairly familiar, taking a romantic vision of London
as a city of boozy rock and roll dreams, and drawing on the tragedy,
addictions, debauchery and jealousies that exist within.
But they are done with such a vigour and passion that it doesn't
seem to matter that their style isn't exactly original.
There is an innocent charm to songs such as Which Way Is Out
and party anthem, Rip It Up, that becomes completely infectious.
Rip It Up, especially, has one eye on the dancefloor,
much like the equally riotous Rock 'n Roll Lies, but such
ragged moments are neatly counter-balanced by more deliberate
tracks, such as Hang By, Hang By, or the anthemic In
Even the singles, Golden Touch and especially Stumble
and Fall maintain a freshness about them, that hasn't allowed
them to fade with time,
Stumble and Fall, in particular, is a belter of a record,
a joyous, edgy, indie-pop anthem, which highlights all that is
great about Razorlight.
So if Borrell and co have already seduced you with such tracks,
then waste no time in getting the album.
It's being hailed as a debut to rival the impact of Oasis' Definitely
Maybe, but while it may fall short of that status, there is
enough here to suggest that The Libertines should be looking over
their shoulder as they complete their second album.
1. Leave Me Alone
2. Rock'n'Roll Lies
4. Up All Night
5. Which Way Is Out
6. Rip It Up
8. Golden Touch
9. Stumble & Fall
10. Get It And Go
11. In The City
12. Hang By, Hang By
13. To The Sea