Being one of the survivors of the 21st Century Brit-poppers including bands such as The Kooks and the Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight have released their second album Razorlight. Inspired as the name is, some thought has actually been put into many songs from the album. America, I Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Got and Back To The Start are great tunes and fool listeners into thinking that the band has matured and may have a whole album of fabulous tracks.
In reality though, despite Borrell’s self-belief (he’s well documented for being an arrogant git) in his song writing and music, Razorlight seem to have followed the formula for their last album Up All Night. A few good tracks encourage buyers or downloaders to believe that they have bought a whole album of tracks of the same quality; whereas despite a few tracks being well put together, the others can be classed as mediocre.
Kirby’s House is a particular track which lets the album down – did the producer actually listen to it before putting it on the album? Maybe I just have issues with the country and western twang. My personal highlight is Turnpike Lane being mentioned in one of the last tracks, which reminds me of a place I sadly used to hang around at in my youth. To end on a positive note, guitarist Bjorn Agren has done a brilliant job on the majority of songs and even though I have slightly slated this album, the band sound good together. Is that however down to hours of practise or a brilliant sound engineer?
Robots In Disguise
I sincerely tried not to pre-judge this by the photo of the two gormless hipsters from the band on the back of the cd. Robots In Disguise have tried to emulate electro acts like Le Tigre and Peaches, who they name check in Turn It Up. Robots In Disguise however lack any of their intelligence, individuality, grit or humour. Get Rid sounds cheaply produced and none of the beats will make even nod your head, let alone throw some shapes on the dance floor at Rescue Rooms on a Saturday night.
Beyond the dull synth and drum machine rhythms are the embarrassing lyrics about shopping, dancing to techno, being noticed and fashion. This lyrical content seems to be an attempt at irony and being totally dispassionate, neither of which they can carry off.
They hash out a cover of You’ve Really Got Me, attempt Chromeo style robotic vocals in DJ’s Got A Gun and generally piss one everything that’s good about electro. This however isn’t electro, this is shitty pop. Robots In Disguise are trying to be dark, fashionable, sexy and ironic, which is a sickening combination when you get it so hideously wrong.
The Singles (Echo Records)
An inevitable and satisfyingly conclusive release from a band which has famously succeeded tragedy to establish themselves a fairly legendary band in their own right. Singles offers a chance to see the evolution over a decade in style as a band with grungy roots, floating between accessible alternative metal to more mainstream pop-rock with ridiculously catchy tracks such as Buck Rogers and Shatter, which refuse to escape your head.
The Singles serves as either a comprehensive introduction to Feeder’s sound for those of you who have been living over the rainbow for the last decade, or as a nostalgic lingering glance back at Feeder’s best moments.
The album listens like an affirming and cathartic blast-by-blast account of past triumphs and includes three new tracks: Lost and Found, Burn the Bridges (first played in the Winter Tour 2005) and Save Us.
Even for those of you who don’t consider yourselves die-hard fans, there is bound to at least one song on here that will trigger some fond/ cringe-worthy teenage memory. Personally, I remember at least one VK-fuelled row with a boyfriend over the hyperactive roar of Just a Day in a certain Nottingham rock venue. We had more powerful lungs in those days….
Love is All
Nine Times That Same Song
(What's Your Rupture?)
Love Is All are a Swedish low-fi indie quintet. Their debut offering is a pretty mediocre attempt, Josephine Olausson's vocals are hard to discern and when she does allow you to hear what she is squealing, it makes you wonder why she bothered. WhilstOlausson's screechy singing, as in the opening track Talk Talk Talk, may draw comparisons to Karen O and even Kathleen Hannah, her attempts at being quirky fail with lyrics like "I know we like the same kind of cheese" sounding contrived. Her vocal range is rather narrow, either childish squeaks or a flat, rather monotonous style - the slower the song the less she shrieks. The vocals are accompanied by more restrained male backing vocals that seem more sincere.
Like various post-punk bands L.I.A. add a saxophone to the usual line up, however, in Turn The TV Off the saxophone veers off dangerously into easy listening territory. Calling their album Nine Times That Same Song seems somewhat appropriate, except for the fact there are ten songs. Whilst L.I.A. have produced a 'fun' pop record, danceable yet not overly produced, there is nothing particularly memorable about it. It is not a really bad debut album, just a rather uninspiring one. Love Is All you need? Unfortunately not.
Victory For The Comic Muse
After 2004's disappointing Absent Friends
album, Victory for the Comic Muse
is a welcome return to form for The Divine Comedy.Using beautiful, simple piano melodies and gentle yet passionate strings, Hannon's musical style is theatrical and expressive while his caustic observations are delivered in his typical smooth, dry tone.
Stand out tracks include To Die A Virgin
where Hannon’s erotically charged lyrics express a teenage boys desire to get a piece while the upbeat instrumentals lead a brass crescendo to the final (ahem) climax.Diva Lady
is set in true loungeroom style, the rythmic piano and jazz beat accompanying Hannon’s softly sung, yet biting take on the shallow life of so-called celebrity.If you're after crying into your beer, then A Lady of A Certain Age
is all you need. Hannon follows ghostlike, the life of a young woman till she's a careworn old lady and all her loved one's have died or gone away. Not exactly uplifting.
Though the album contains some upbeat Vegas showstyle tunes and pad round your bedroom when drunk tracks, the overall feeling is likened to an evening spent getting pissed in the company of someone you love but who you're never going to see again-though you might be dancing on the tables, there's always that tearless sadness that refuses to subside.