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4.4 out of 5 stars
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First of all, who are Editors? Well, if you're reading this, you probably know but if not then Editors are a Birmingham New Wave\Post-Punk outfit that specialise in the sounds of the early 80s and its raincoat clad pioneers.
Yes, 80s New Wave. Now, the argument could go on all day about the fashion in music today and whether we need another angular guitar, rhythmic and altogether dark group, but I'm not going to go into it... Whether or not Editors are an identical copy of Joy Division or a regurgitation of their parent's' record collection doesnt matter until you've finished with their record itself.
So lets get to the record itself. The fact of the matter is, is that Editors can knock out a good tune and they've done it more than once. However, after a couple of singles it is always interesting to see how the band take this to a long-player. Desperate and wailing epic single 'Bullets' is there and so is the dark urgency of follow-up 'Munich', but it can be seen in the next single 'Blood' how easy Editors obviously find this. The Ian Curtis\Paul Banks vocals of Tom Smith are effortless in making these songs massive-sounding, sincere and a little bit scary. But it doesnt stop here though, because Editors have more to offer. Album opener 'Lights' is a jumpy, short and catchy song that gets straight to point with no messing. 'All Sparks' is The Back Room's centre-piece and has the trademark Editors quality of the album's singles and will have you singing along from the first listen. 'Fingers In The Factories' caught me off guard at first but its unusual jumpiness grows on you, making a slightly bizarre and original use of Editors talents. Taking it down a notch, 'Fall' and 'Camera' have all the melancholic reverence you might expect whilst maintaining an accessible mentality of the album's dancier moments.
The lyrics are typically cryptic but not trivial and Editors have ensured that every song is a potential anthem that crowds and festivals all over will croon along to. The rhythm section is tight and disciplined but doesnt take a back seat; often choosing to be the twist in song's like 'Distance' and 'Blood'. Then of course, there's 'that' guitar which makes each song an Editors song and partially what makes the Editors' songs appealing to the New Wave devotees.
So it ticks all the boxes right? Maybe, but 'The Back Room' is far from a perfect work. There are many postive points to be taken from the songs here, but something doesn't feel right throughout. It only takes two listens to notice certain things. Firstly, you realise that 'that' guitar is same Chameleons-esque chime that appears behind - every - song and in a similar fashion in each case. By the time of 'Someone Says' its getting a bit weary and is perhaps the sound a talent not being stretched. 'Open Your Arms' benefits here from trying something different, but the accessible sensibility of 'The Back Room' feels as much a burden as an asset. Secondly, in a similar vein, I got the impression that Ediotrs were getting a bit too involved with their own sound and whilst these songs work well on their own, sometimes it just didn't work as an album.
But this is no major problem. Despite being up to my waist in the second wave of post-punk, the truth is that three or four years ago I would have killed for a band like Editors. Whilst 'The Back Room' might not be as accomplished as an album as some debuts, it is still a pleasure to listen to and is a success. You can never have too many good bands and hey, songs like 'Munich' could teach even Interpol a thing or two. Whether it is plagarism or not is up to you, I reckon its just more good songs from another promising band.
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on 14 July 2005
Obvious influences of Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen aside, this startling debut proves Editors are no mere 'English Interpol'. Smith's dark and unsettling vocals immediate grab the listener on opener 'Lights', 'if fortune favours the brave, then I am as poor as they come' he broods. This intensity is continued throughout the album, latest single 'blood' is full of contempt; 'blood runs through our veins, thats where the similarity ends'. 'Fall' is heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time, with the delicate refrain of 'i needed to see this for myself'. It's not all bitter though, second single 'Munich' chime of 'i'm so glad i found this', the spiky guitars and chorus of 'Bullets', as well as 'Fingers in the Factories' pleading line 'keep with me, keep with me' provide anthemic sing-alongs. Its no wonder they have been hailed as the singles band of 2005. The album is not without its flaws 'someone says' is a bit naff with a rather bland chorus that barely resonates above the even duller verse. However with songs like the beautiful 'Camera' and the glorious ethereal closer 'Distance', Editors prove themselves to be top of their game. An album of the year.
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on 17 July 2005
Like Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights, The Back Room's dark, but danceable melancholy has grabbed hold of me and won't let me go! Getting bummed out has never felt so good. Singles Bullets, Munich and Blood are all incredible, and the standard set so high by these songs is effortlessly maintained throughout the album. Like Munich, tracks like Lights, All Sparks and Fingers In Factories have this strange quality that just makes you want to get up and dance! They would all make fantastic singles. This album has really captured their live sound and energy. Oh and wait till you hear camera!
Editors have really created something that is just as intense and epic as their New York counterparts and are really the first band I've come across who have the potential to knock Interpol off their postpunk throne. Seriously, get their album, catch them live and you'll see why! :)
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on 6 September 2007
Hats off to Exiled Northerner for nailing the true influences on The Editors: the Chameleons and also the Bunnymen are the real points of reference here in the Editors' debut, rather than Joy Division. Check out the Chameleons "Script of the Bridge" and "What Does Anything Mean Basically?" albums and see what I mean. I don't buy into the Joy Division wanabees-schtick at all: JD had a completely different energy, with a rawness heightened by Martin Hannett's production on both guitar and synths, and the only real similarity I hear with the Editors is a nod to Stephen Morris's idiosyncratic drumming. All good JD songs propelled you forwards as their energy uncoiled - She's Lost Control, Isolation, Novelty, Dead Souls etc. Editors's songs have a curious sense of inertia about them. The lyrics on "The Back Room" are, like on their follow-up, almost comically morose at times and delivered in a moody baritone pitched somewhere between The Divine Comedy and Ian Curtis. But Editors do what they do admirably well, with catchy songs like Munich and Bullets to their credit on the debut, and if you love certain early 80s and largely Northern sounds (the moodier moments of the Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, Positive Noise, Comsat Angels for example) as much as I do then you will enjoy this album too.
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on 31 July 2005
I'm assuming that you know of the Editors and their masterpieces if you are reading this review, and I truly recommend this. However, are two discs better than one?
Of course they are, as the Editors ambitiously expand and explore their sound, and discover something quite beautiful.
Let You're Good Heart Lead You Home - Heck of a title, heck of a song. They bring the drums right forward to good effect here and give a typical Editors song a whole new direction that is powerful, evocative and ultimately... epic.
You Are Fading - Despite the Yoda inspired lyrics (waiting you are, fading you are), this album takes a dark riff and sprinkle it with high-octave icing and some background chanting to form a tender and evocative (you'll soon get fed up of me using that word) masterpiece.
Crawl Down The Wall - A driving verse and chorus that is enhanced by Tom Smith's semi-snarling, semi-despairing vocals and a fantastic drumming finale.
Colours - Loving and tender with a chorus draped in sweet guitar goodness that "Snow Patrol's spitting games" uses and that is becoming an Editors trademark. This is ended with the most powerful sing-a-long, anthemnic outro ever (I never exaggerate!)
Release - Epic, powerful and driving in a similar way to "Snow Patrol's Run" managed. This is their best song to date and a true sign of their potential, and a true sign that, unlike most, they can live up to it. Why isn't it on the actual album.
Forest Fire - Is it the Bloc Party song that never was? Slightly different direction to normal but the recurring focus on drums that "Cuttings" has and "The Back Room" hasn't, is much appreciated. Subtley builds up into an unassuming crescendo.
All in all, this possibly exceeds their main album's offerings and is well worth the small amount of extra money for six stunning tracks.
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on 21 September 2006
Living in Norway, I do not always get to see the biggest singers/bands live in concert. The Editors, however, were set to come to a small venue in Oslo. I had never heard of them, but gambled on buying the album.

The Editors took me a few listens to get the feel of the music, but it turned out to be a great gamble. The music, in my opinion, is a great mix of Coldplay, Keane, The Raconteurs, and Razorlight sounds. The music is a lot of loud guitar and drum sounds, accompanied by a mysterious dark voice of the lead singer.

The music is very catchy, especially live. It is full of life, and very energetic. If you need a taste, listen to 'Fingers In The Factories', and 'Bullets'. It seems impossible to listen to these tunes without singing along, or at least tapping your foot to the beat.

The Editors are quite unheard of outside of the UK, but are a band that could easily compete in the top 10 of the album charts in years to come.

Buy the album, and get hooked!
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on 7 January 2006
Editors have produced a solid first album to be proud of in the tradition of great English bands such as Joy Divison. Smith complements his dark catchy lyrics with bold choruses throughout drawing parralells with the late Ian Curtis. I found myself Bez dancing to the chorus 'Blood runs through our veins'in 'Blood'. The simple lyrics prove effective and allow wide interpretations to be made which relate more closely to the listener. Heralded as the new Interpol and in the vain of Joy Divison the Englishg hopefuls will have their work cut out and should produce an eagerly anticipated improved second album as their sound is perfected because this album certainly isnt flawless: 'Munich', Blood', 'All Sparks' are fantastic songs as is 'Bullets', but 'open your arms' and 'Somone says'mean the album tapers off from that bit extra and a real form of consistency that they will only impove. I would recommend The Back room to any new wave fan who laments the decline in quality since the eighties and any general indie/ alternative fan.
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on 3 October 2006
The surprise of 2005, and oh what a surprise, this is great.

You can hear their influences, must obviously Depeche Mode, but put that aside and you have one crakin album, I just can't stop playing and singing (very badly) along to it.

You won't regret this being in your collection especially with tracks like All Sparks, Blood and Munich. These are another band that I hope will go far, along with Hard Fi and The Kings of Leon, all very different but one word links them (PERFECT)
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on 20 January 2006
The biggest mistake I made in 2005 was turning down a £2 ticket to see The Editors at the Bierkeller, Manchester, in favour of some bird!!! I dont have many regrets but this is certainly one of them. After that episode I didnt want the album to be decent... and just to rub my nose in it, it is. In fact its bloody brilliant.
The standout tracks on this album are fantastic and well beyond standard debut album tracks. 'Blood'is by far my favourite, if only for its opening guitar dance. The chorus of 'Munich' seems to be written by a band that have seen it all and it is difficult to remember sometimes that this band are new and still fairly young. 'All Sparks' and the beautiful 'Bullets' prove that The Editors are no flash in the pan band, who are worthy of any Joy Division comparisons.
Of the remaining tracks 'Camera' has to be my favourite and where Tom Smith can be found at his most haunting. There are some weaker tracks on this album but even then they are very listenable.
If anyone does have a time machine so I could travel back to that cold night in Manchester, please let me know.... But then what doesnt kill you....
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on 23 January 2007
The Editors are the best early 80s British new wave band I've heard since ... the early 80s in fact. In "The Back Room" they've created a work that could easily pass for a long lost Kitchens of Distinction album. Any fans of the blessed Kitchens, B-Movie, The Chameleons or The Comsat Angels should snap up a copy of this immediately, as it contains echoes of all those groups. This is as good a recreation of that sound as you could wish for, and will bring the memories flooding back. Anyone looking for the future of popular music will have to wait a little longer.
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