(2008) Slipway Fires

Razorlight

... read moreSlipway Fires is Razorlight's most mainstream release to date, an album that downplays the band's garage rock past for something akin to Snow Patrol's adult-approved pop. Thick harmonies and economical hooks demonstrate the band's growth -- they're no longer ripping off the Strokes, having left the...

41′:11″ 12 Songs

1
Wire To Wire
Razorlight
2:59
2
Hostage Of Love
Razorlight
3:44
3
You And The Rest
Razorlight
3:24
4
Tabloid Lover
Razorlight
2:56
5
North London Trash
Razorlight
3:24
6
60 Thompson
Razorlight
2:34
7
Stinger
Razorlight
4:13
8
Burberry Blue Eyes
Razorlight
3:31
9
Blood For Wild Blood
Razorlight
3:08
10
Monster Boots
Razorlight
4:21
11
The House
Razorlight
3:53
12
Where The Frequencies Run Deep And Wild
Razorlight
3:04
Released 01 January 2008, ℗ 2008 Mercury Records Limited

Review

Slipway Fires is Razorlight's most mainstream release to date, an album that downplays the band's garage rock past for something akin to Snow Patrol's adult-approved pop. Thick harmonies and economical hooks demonstrate the band's growth -- they're no longer ripping off the Strokes, having left the swaggering sounds of Up All Night far behind -- but growth is the very problem with Slipway Fires, whose mature, polished tones might as well have been recorded by middle-aged AOR vets rather than Clash-loving twentysomethings. This is an album of earnest piano ballads and well-scrubbed rock, an album that sports song titles like "North London Trash" but sounds as dirty as early-'80s Fleetwood Mac. At times, the earnest posturing gives way to something like "Tabloid Lover," a fun, shamelessly trashy romp that sets up shop in the Bangles' pop palace. Another highlight, "Burberry Blue Eyes" is reminiscent of the Feeling's power pop bounce, but while such a song would sound appropriate on the Feeling's next release, it's hard to reconcile the fact that Razorlight -- a band that previously sang about bar-filled evenings and hung-over mornings -- have now traded in their street-smart denim for songs about luxury clothing chains. Enjoying Slipway Fires requires a suspension of disbelief, a conscious separation between the band's past and the somewhat ludicrous present. Of course, not looking at the outlandishly serious cover art -- in which frontman Johnny Borrell attacks the camera with a smoldering glance, an unbuttoned dress shirt, and a seemingly un-ironic pearl necklace -- may also help. [This digital edition includes the bonus track "Where the Frequencies Run Deep and Wild."] ~ Andrew Leahey