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Moving in the wrong direction
on 30 August 2006
Jonny Borrel's assertion that "if Dylan was making the chips, he was drinking the champagne" in reference to his lyricism was one of the most annoying and obnoxious comments ever made despite the fact it was tongue in cheek, it really is delusional to put yourself above the greatest lyricist of all time when your first album contained the lines "I know a girl with a golden touch/she's got enough she's got too much" and "Hey girl, get on the dance floor/ And rip it up, yeah/That's what it's there for".
However Razorlight themselves are not just Jonny Borrel and their debut album came with enough good hooks and summer hit singles to make them hard to dislike the very antithesis to Borrel's loud mouth, which has made him very easy to dislike. The second album kicks off with `In the morning' which is probably the best song on the album. it sounds like T-rex doing a David Bowie cover and has a very catchy chorus and refrain. The next song `Who Needs love' is also very easy on the ear, with a piano hook and accessible, if not Dylanesque lyrics.
The main problems with their sophomore effort kick in with America, which is a flawed, pompous and overly ambitious song destined to be everywhere soon. The song seems steeped in Borrel's ambitions to break America and whilst the would be anthem features a catchy sing a long chorus, it's lyrically unappealing and cheesy to toxic levels.
Pop song 2006 is even more frightening as it seems Jonny Borrel's admittedly entertaining performance and live 8 seems to have gone to his head. The song aims to capture the spirit of 2006. Although I wasn't aware there was one but if there was, this clearly isn't it. Evidently Borrel's chasing at his ambitions again and this time he's trying to be Bob Geldorf, which is a very dangerous idea for a young song writer and one he must dispense with soon if he wants to be considered a great artist in his own right.
Despite these setbacks Razorlight ends strongly, Kirby's House could have been taken of their, much better, first album and `Los Angeles Waltz' is a lot better than the title suggests. All of this leaves Jonny and the boys with a dilemma, the better songs sounds like belong on 'up all night', while all the worst songs show their very naff new direction, so which way to turn? Should Jonny keep on trying to emulate his heroes Geldorf and Bono? Or should he take a look back and see where his talent really lies? Only the third album will tell