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Reviews Written by
William Geoffrey (Winchester UK)

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Up All Night
Up All Night
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £1.26

39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boy with the Golden Touch, 14 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Up All Night (Audio CD)
Johnny Borrell's reputation precedes him. Having famously proclaimed himself to be the greatest songwriter of his generation, you could easily be forgiven for dismissing him as just another conceited and deluded young hopeful. That is until you realise that he has the material to support such a claim - with this first offering from Razorlight threatening to be the most significant debut since The Stone Roses fifteen years ago. Flanked by two Swedes, Björn Ågren's jagged guitar and the pounding bass of Carl Dalemo augment Johnny's songs, who, with a voice that belies his tender years, makes sharp observations of London life – telling seedy tales of love and rock'n'roll from the bars and backstreets of the city, far removed from the glitz and the glamour. The maturity and intelligence of the writing is startling coming from one so young. The spiky early singles "Rock n Roll Lies" and "Rip It Up" showcase the band’s energy and vigour, whilst the edgy and menacing "Up All Night" is a worthy and fitting title track. The standout tracks on the album are the majestic single "Golden Touch", sure to fill the airwaves this summer, and the thrillingly anthemic "Vice", which sounds like The Clash covering Costello. Other highlights include the frantic "Stumble & Fall", and Johnny's impassioned Dylan-esque torrent of words on the live favourite "In The City". An album with no weaknesses, and the sort of record that you like the first time around, love after the second listen, and can't stop playing from thereon in. Razorlight can seemingly do no wrong at the moment, and thankfully you get the impression there is a lot more to come from one Johnny Borrell...


The Remote Part
The Remote Part
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £2.49

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Support Your Local Poets, 15 May 2004
This review is from: The Remote Part (Audio CD)
Idlewild have come a long way in a short space of time. Whilst their debut album was brash and uncomfortable, the follow-up "100 Broken Windows" showed more control, a well-honed songwriting talent, and signs of greatness to come. Now on "The Remote Part" the band find perfection in their sound, and match it with a powerful set of songs that attack you with feeling, proving to the likes of Coldplay that emotional music does not have to be wistful and melancholy. If ever an album began perfectly then it is this one. "You Held The World In Your Arms" rips into you right from the start, with dynamic guitars and strings creating a tension that never lets up until the finish. This is surely one of the greatest songs of the millennium to date. Then, without a chance to catch a breath, you are flung headfirst into the punchy "A Modern Way Of Letting Go", before finally being able to relax in the shimmering beauty of "American English", the other standout track on the album. There are moments of magic throughout – like the two-part guitar solo at the end of "I Never Wanted", and the majestic piano line that rides over the chorus in "Live In A Hiding Place" – and Roddy Woomble's emotive vocals sit perfectly on the intense backing sound. The stirring album closer "In Remote Part" fuses an explosion of sound with Edwin Morgan's reading of "Scottish Fiction", and proves that poetry can be used effectively in song without appearing pretentious. One of the most exciting and unique-sounding albums produced for a long time - if Idlewild continue this remarkable progression then album number four will be something to behold.


Scissor Sisters
Scissor Sisters
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £1.26

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sister Lovers, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Scissor Sisters (Audio CD)
Seldom can there have been an album of such diversity as this one, from New York glam-throwbacks the Scissor Sisters. This can be viewed as both a strength and a weakness, and no doubt the multi-genre approach will confuse some whilst appealing to others. The album kicks off with the funky "Laura", and is followed by the energetic radio-friendly "Take Your Mama". This is classic early era Elton John along the lines of "Take Me To The Pilot", and when Jake Shears launches into the falsetto chorus you could be forgiven for thinking that Elton himself is making an appearance on vocals. Then, just when you think you know where you stand with the album, the Sisters' musical boundaries are completely redefined with the gay-disco-inspired reworking of Pink Floyd's immortal "Comfortably Numb". Your view of this one will probably depend on how highly you regard the original, but even the most die-hard Floyd fans must admit that it's kinda catchy. "Mary" is a classic slow rocker built around a deep swelling piano line, with echoes of Spandeau Ballet thrown in just to further the confusion. "Tits On The Radio" with its wry lyrics and seventies disco setting is guaranteed to make you smile, and "Music Is the Victim" sounds like the Stones fused with a heavy dose of Saturday Night Fever. And just when you thought there was nothing left to give, you are treated to the ambitious "Return To Oz". With disarmingly obscure lyrics and eerie melodies the song builds into a compelling finale, and though you have no idea what they are singing about, somehow it doesn't really matter. Either something for everyone, or an album too diverse for the average music fan. But therein lies the beauty. Crazy, camp, colourful, and well worth adding to your collection.


Hopes and Fears
Hopes and Fears
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.34

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something To Rely On, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Hopes and Fears (Audio CD)
To dismiss Keane as being "just another Coldplay/Travis" would be easy, and doubtless many music critics will do so. But Keane are not a band to be dismissed, and this subtle gem of an album should see their status elevated above all other Martin/Healy hopefuls. For a start there are no guitars on the album – a bold but not ineffective ploy, with Tim Rice-Oxley's layered piano creating a sparkling ethereal sound to send shivers down your spine. The standout track on the album by far is "Everybody’s Changing" - a beautiful sweeping epic that tugs at so many emotions you don't know whether to laugh, cry, or just sit back and enjoy the ride. Add to this the earlier singles "Bend And Break" and "Somewhere Only We Know", and you begin to wonder if the album can sustain such high standards. And whilst they occasionally veer off the rails ("Untitled I" is a wild cacophony of sound that never really goes anywhere), thankfully the remainder of the tracks are more than just 'fillers' (unlike the majority of mainstream pop these days). On "She Has No Time", Tom Chaplin delivers the best vocal performance since Matt Bellamy on "Unintended", and the soaring "Can’t Stop Now" will surely be heard blazing out of many a bedroom window this summer. Some will no doubt find the unvarying nature of Keane's sound irritating, but the quality of the songs and spotless production cannot be ignored. There's a hint of the eighties running through this album (particularly evident on "Sunshine"), yet despite this it all manages to sound incredibly modern. Buy this record if you have a soul.


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