Album Review: Razorlight’s Slipway Fires

By on Friday, 7th November 2008 at 4:00 pm

Deep down, I had secretly hoped that Slipway Fires – Razorlight‘s third album, released this week – would prove to be a mighty comeback after the let-down that was the band’s self-titled second release 2 years ago.

Oh, how my hopes have been dashed.

The album kicks off with current single, ‘Wire to Wire’, an easy on the ears track which I’ve grown to like. “Love me, wherever you are”, Johnny Borrell cries. Sadly, this is quite a tough task when listening to cliché tracks such as Tabloid Lover and North London Trash, which, to put bluntly, are just awful. For starters, one only has to look at the terrible lyrics of the latter track – “I’ve got a hot bodied girlfriend, I’ve got a wallet full of cash”, Borrell boasts. I’m sure you’d agree such words are hardly worthy of Johnny’s claim that he’s better than Dylan. To make it all worse, I cannot help but notice how Tabloid Lover sounds like a complete rip-off of The B-52s, Love Shack. But then again, maybe that’s just me..

Another thing which strikes me about Slipway Fires is the sheer amount of dull, slow tempoed tracks scattered throughout the album – examples being Stinger, 60 Thompson and You and the Rest. After a short while, the album begins to sound like one uninteresting, unmemorable tune rolled into the other. Generally, it’s very hard to maintain interest in the CD, with only the odd track like terribly-titled Burberry Blue Eyes and Monster Boots picking Slipway Fires off the floor and injecting a bit of melodic life back into it. It’s hard to feel any emotional connection towards album closer, The House, after the disappointing ride of Slipway Fires.

All in all, the album is thoroughly unsatisfactory. It’s a shame that a band who created great tunes such as ‘Vice’, ‘Rip It Up’ and even ‘In The Morning’, are now releasing such lacklustre material as Slipway Fires.

Buy Razorlight’s new album, Slipway Fires from Amazon

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3 Responses

11:18 pm
4th January 2009

Re: review of Slipway Fires

I think this is a bit harsh. I think there are a couple of terrific songs from the ‘survivor of heavy relationship’ type stuff that is one component of the album – you name one of them, Wire to Wire, but what about Hostage of Love? Both these songs are unusual (especially Wire to Wire), interesting and a cut above overall, when it comes to quality.

Of the mid-tempo rockier stuff, as you say, Burberry Blue Eyes is pretty good – it deserves a bit more positivity though, the lyrics are pretty funny. 60 Thompson is a good, interesting little track (at least in my book).

It’s like a ‘weaker third album’ but has some stand-outs on it; that seems a fairer summary to me. 5 or 6/10 would be more accurate.

Maybe everyone is so in love with the old Borrell and THAT is the real reason this album is being under-rated in most places; ‘it just don’t match up’, but it would have to be pretty great to match up to a reasonable amount of the earlier stuff and if you listen to it disregarding all the gossip and trivia that surrounds the band…ie more like a fresh new listener, it’s reasonable. Think of Raw Power by the Stooges – really good band, NOT their best album by a long chalk, it has only a couple of real top tracks if you’re objective about it, but you wouldn’t give it the kinda review like wot you wrote.

11:22 pm
4th January 2009

hey, yo0u publish ‘replies’ just like that?! not just an excerpt loik?!

11:31 pm
4th January 2009

Yup, we let all comments be publish un-edited.

Everyone’s free to say what they want – if it’s completely un called for / un-constructive it will be deleted, but everyone’s opinion counts.

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