on 2 July 2004
Despite the music press hyperbole and self-proclaimed greatness (if I had a penny for every comparison to the Gallaghers...), this album is actually very good, its only short coming being its slight lack of variation. Borrell's lip curling vocal echoes Lou Reed and Tom Verlaine, and the group have clearly been hanging around in their local record store's 'post-punk' section. The album starts blindingly, losing its way a little at the midpoint before being resurrected by shoe-in singles 'Golden Touch' and 'Stumble and Fall' and then the excellent 'To The Sea'. Much has been said about Borrell's 'grown-up' songwriting, but it seems that his lyricism, while at times highly accomplished (although Dylan-esque is perhaps too strong), is frequently lazy and repetitive. His 'falling' imagery, for instance, grates a little as it is not particularly original and is over-used. But these are only very small imperfections that marr this very promising debut. It seems to me that when Borell's songwriting does reach an artistic maturity, should their potential ephemeral 'great white hype' tag not bury them, then Razorlight will be a very important group indeed.
on 11 July 2004
from start to finish this album is full of quality songs, none that you can call weak.I heard of the band just before the release of their album and read about the hype surrounding them.for once the hype has been justified with this album and to make it even better, on the dvd you are able to see the band perform live tracks,worth the extra few pounds.without doubt the album of the year.what are you waiting for...BUY IT NOW!
on 25 July 2004
Its best to review this album by putting Razorlight's singer/songwriter Johnny Borrell's confident/cocky remarks about his own songwriting excellence to the back of your mind. The short and short of it is that Up All Night is a very enjoyable album sure to brighten up your day and stay in your CD player for ages, but it is not the greatest thing since sliced bread as Borrell would like you to believe. There are some moments of brilliance in tracks like Rip It Up, which is impossible not to dance to, and Stumble And Fall which is the perfect song to represent how indie is supposed to sound. The real magic is in Golden Touch and Dalston, the former being one of the best singles of the year so far and the later being a moving message to Borrell's old mate Peter of The Libertines which is one of the albums stand out tracks with its plea "Don't go back to Dalston/Just come on back to me" showing that it can be the simple lines which turn a ballad into a touching anthem when complimented by Borrell's rasping vocal stretched to breaking point.
on 15 August 2006
I won't lie, I think Razorlight are ok..but I expected this album to be something pretty darn good. People that I know who either own it, or have heard it said that it was brilliant; and yet when I got my hands on a copy I couldn't really see what all the fuss was about.
There's isn't much kick to be honest; I think that's the main problem with it. There is the odd absolutely cracking song - Golden Touch for example is wonderful - but the rest of it is a little samey.
This is something to listen to if you've got nothing better to do. It's ok if you want to chill out coz you don't really have to concetrate that much on what you're listening to. The music isn't technical...it's just there really. Not the triumph everyone made it out as.
on 30 July 2006
There are two things that really irritate me about the Indie/Rock music scene.
Firstly - the over-hyping of mediocre new bands by institutions like The NME and Radio 1. And Secondly, probably even moreso, the people who see this branch of music as purely a fashion accessory.
These jokers instantly take a disliking to a band once it receives too much hype and common folk start catching on. They will tell you the lyrics are not deep enough, the melodies are simple and the guitarist's rubbish - and then babble on about some new album 'not on general release' by a band you have never, and will never hear about. This all boils down to accessibility. If a band is accessible and some songs might actually be liked by your mum, it means they're going to get big - and our Indie fashion victims don't like that. You see, music can't be ultra popular and ultra trendy. If these guys were to admit they liked bands that have become mainstream, it would mock their belief that ordinary people can't be as highbrow as themselves when it comes to music appreciation - and we couldn't have that, could we?
This is Razorlight's problem, of course. They have become a little too mainstream - especially with the release and subsequent hype of their second album. Nevertheless, Up All Night is a really great album and certainly one of the best of this Millennium. It offers some true originality compared the other British offerings from this Genre, and more importantly, includes some fantastic songs. The title track, 'Up All Night' and 'Golden Touch' to name but two are fantastic tunes. Some will say too melodic, but what's wrong with a melody? Are The Beatles also to be marked down for the same reason?
If you genuinely like indie/rock for what it is, and aren't too concerned whether it's fashionable or 'underground' enough, then you will no doubt love Up All Night. Some of the later tracks take a few listens but there is very little on this album that won't have you appreciating seriously good, modern British music.
on 4 July 2004
If you liked the singles Stumble and Fall, Rock and Roll Lies and latterly Golden Touch then you will love this album. It's fresh, frantic and energetic. It rock and rolls along nicely and Johnny's strong and distinctive vocals give the album a real edge. There aren't really any weak tracks on the album - although Golden Touch and Vice are real anthemic highlights, Johnny rightly deserves praise for his songwriting abilities.
Nothing amazingly original, but this is a solid album with great songs - what more could you ask for?!
Sparkling, clean, simple, energetic, tuneful, punky. Imaginitive lyrics, excellent vocals and guitar work but special mention to the drumming on these tracks - it really is cracking. The guitar & vocals remind me very much of Tom Verlaine's Television, particularly their Marquee Moon album - but with more energy - and I also get hints of Jarvis Cocker, Dylan and The Spin Doctors (whatever happened to them by the way?). A great debut album, deservedly successful. And lucky me, I've got the release with the bonus track, which I've listened to a dozen times and ain't tired of yet! To you Teenage Whingers, doom-laden hamsters etc. who bought the earlier release - look, it's seven quid - shuddup and go and buy another one! And think yourself lucky - I'm 54 but I don't go on about it!
on 29 August 2004
When I first heard "Stumble and Fall" on the radio months ago, I thought it was a great song. The name Razorlight didn't appear for a while then untill I read in a magazine about Johnny Borrell's declaration about his genius. Which made me dislike the band.
But upon buying this album, that all changed. This is awesome and definately the album of the summer, possibly the year. With the immiment arrival of The Libertines' second album, Razorlight may be overshadowed by their fellow Londoners, but it'll take nothing away from this album. It has all the makings of a great debut album.
As has been quite regular with great debuts, the title track is amazing. Just like with The Strokes and The Libertines, the title track is an amazingly well written song, both lyrically and musically. The singles definately stand out. Although Borrell's lyrics may be quite "what you see is what you get" (or maybe "what you hear is what you get") i.e. one-dimensional, "Golden Touch" is beautifully written. There is nothing wrong with one-dimensional lyrics so long as they are good, and the excellent storytelling of the "Girl with the Golden Touch" is as cooly romantic as anything done by The Libertines, the band that people say they are imitating.
My personal favourite however is "In The City". An amazing story again, with the superb diversity in the pace of their music and also an absolutly awesome guitar riff make this song the standout one. Infact, the riff is probably the most pleasing 15 seconds or so on the album and also the part where you are guaranteed to just go absolutly mental to, whether you are driving or partying.
A 4-star rating only because of the fact that the lyrics are pretty one-dimensional and also that the dreaded fade-out is incorporated too much! But without those two flaws, there would be no room for improvement. Enjoy this album for a long time untill album two comes out. The stories told are excellent and the music is delicious!
on 22 August 2004
Even the bad bits of said culture.
Although I'm afraid you're not going to hear anything you haven't heard a million times about Razorlight, I hope I can encapsulate most of the views about this funky indie album by saying that it's really good, but frankly completely derivative.
This album deserves plenty of praise for its catchy lyrics and riffs in its own right, and Borell has put both a successful band and an exemplary album together.
This is not to say that you can't hear these songs in a rawer form by more acccomplished artists - the Clash, Cure, Stones, Bowie, Cream - well, just about anyone. Borell's 'arrogance' is so widely reported, harped about and declaimed that "Up All Night"'s sales have shot through the roof, leading me to believe that he is a very clever man, and if he isn't, I don't see that he'll give a damn while his records sell like hot cakes.
The pure adolescent energy present in every track is the real selling point here, and in my humble opinion more than makes up for the highly derivative nature of the songs. If you have a beef with artists being ripped off then fine, but tell me these tracks aren't just as addictive as any of those of the Strokes or the Libertines and you're either lying or letting your bias cloud your judgement. Give it a listen and then judge it, I beg you! Anyone can grow to love this album for its playability alone, so let your sensibilities lie and like it for what it is - incredible fun.
I do prefer Razorlight's more mainstream material, which can be found in their two subsequent album releases, but 'Up All Night' was a promising and memorable debut.
Almost half of the songs were released as singles, and although each track is obviously it's own, you can't help but get the feeling that they all belong together. If you like The Strokes and Kings of Leon, this is the Razolight album to buy. It is exciting, fun and catchy, with very few mellow moments to be found.
The band's front man Johnny Borrell was rather arrogant (but good for him!) during the release of this album, which is surprisingly almost ten years old now, and proclaimed himself to be a ''songwriting genius''. I don't know if I'd go along with that, but songs like 'Vice' and 'Golden Touch' are certainly great fun to listen to. Track seven, 'Don't Go Back To Dalston' is a hidden gem, and among my favourite Razorlight songs.
Personally, I favour the self titled second album, but 'Up All Night' rides high on passion and energy. It isn't the most varied of albums, the sound remains pretty much the same throughout, but there isn't anything wrong with that. In all, 'Up All Night' is an impressive debut from one of my favourite bands from 'back in the day'.