on 27 June 2007
When a band release a great first album, then attempt to follow this up with a second album, I'm always sceptical that their debut can be matched or even improved upon. The Back Room was a great album, so naturally I was eagerly awaiting the release of 'An End Has A Start' with great anticipation. But I also had a sense of scepticism - could they produce an album as good as, or even better than The Back Room? Answer: Yes.
I sat down for the first time to listen through the 10 tracks in a row and immediately found myself going back and repeating tracks! 'The Racing Rats' is probably the highlight of the album for me, its a superb up-tempo track reminiscent of 'Blood' and 'Munich' on their debut album, and will almost certainly be released as a future single. The album's title track 'An End Has A Start' is another hum-dinger of a tune, which I also hope is released as a single as it will no doubt be a success.
Other great tracks to look out for are 'Bones', the poignant 'Weight of the World', and the quite magnificent 'When Anger Shows'. Even 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors', which was a great comeback single and has undoubtedly attracted people to buy the album, almost seems a distant memory now that I have listened to the whole albumn!
The only sticky point is that a few of the slower tracks such as 'Push Your Head Up Towards The Air' and 'Well Worn Hand' are a little tedious and boring to listen to, but this of course is just my opinion.
Suffice to say, The Editors have pulled a rabbit out of a hat with this album. Although its fairly short at 10-tracks, it is quite simply a little gem. I would thoroughly recommend this for anyone who liked The Back Room.
My ticket to the V Festival in August this year has just become even more valuable with the release of this album - well done guys!!!
on 15 July 2007
When 'The Back Room' was released in 2005, it received rave reviews, and praise from celebrated magazines such as NME. Whilst also being submitted to lazy comparisons to Joy Division from writers in attempts to give their reviews another inch.
Well, Editors have gone one better with An End Has A Start
Lead singer Tom Smith stated that in their last offering, they already had the songs, and plans on what to do in the studio before they recorded. For An End Has A Start, they had short acoustic demos from Smith, which were in essence, tidbits of what was to come. They created an album nearly from scratch, save for Bones, a live treat that was performed in 2006, and Weight of the World, the reworked every little piece of your life, wich harners back from the bands very beginnings. Whereas The Back Room, had a raw, edgy feel, many fans knew that that wasn't going to be the case for the new album, especially with Jacknife Lee, the producer for Snow Patrol's last two albums, and Bloc Party's recent offereing. And they were right. This album has a much more atmospheric feeling. A lot of the songs flow very fluidly from one another. That's not to say that they all sound the same, each song is has a very unique sound, particularly the closing song Well Worn Hand. Its much more textured, a layered with depth, and this is evident in Push Your Head Towards The Air, Smith's favourite, which is a type of song they had never done before.
The lyrics are about death and disease, which is what Editors are renowned for. But they are also about looking on the bright side of things, and that 'all you can hope for, is the love you felt to equal the pain you've gone through'. Death hasn't surrounded him as much as it has surrounded me or you. He is just saying that yes there is going to be downsides to life, but this is crucial to life as a whole, we must look at it as while something ends, another starts (excuse the pun)
Here are my descriptions and ratings for each song out of ten.
Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors - 8
This is probably the deepest and biggest song the lads have produced to date. It starts with crashing drums, and ends with a choir by assorts of people, then fading out with Smith singing the chrous. One of the best song titles ever, which states the irony of smoking outside the hospital doors.
An End Has A Start - 9
A future single, and what a song. The lyrics are about death, but looking at it in a meaningful way, that death is a part of life you have to go through. The song is definitely a hit, and will probably do quite well in the charts due to its catchy beats, and fast paced singing.
The Weight Of The World - 8
If it wasn't for the lyrics 'every little piece of your life will mean something to someone', it would have been a very morbid song. A favourite with the fans live, this is what I mean by atmospheric, it fills the room with its soothing sound.
Bones - 9
Catchy, fast paced and a great opener live. Chris Urbanowicz shines here, as does Russell Leetch with their up-tempo indie disco beats. It keeps the dark disco theme, and is the most danceable song on the album. It could easily have belonged on 'The Back Room'.
When Anger Shows - 7.5
The longest song on the album (just), this is a slow paced, but thoughtful song, with many metaphorical lyrics. The drummer, Ed Lay, practised non stop, for 3 days, working on his part in this song to get the beat exactly right. He succeded, with I bet gellatin arms at the end of it!
The Racing Rats - 8
A possible future single, and with the rhetorical 'if a plane were to fall from the sky, how big a hole would it leave', it is very thought provoking. The guitar solo is fantastic here, but when Tom almost shouts out the lyrics 'oh c'mon now, you knew you were lost', the crashing of the symbols, and dark, anger tempered sound just blew me away.
Push Your Head Towards The Air - 8
Smith said that this song is something they hadn't quite done before, and he meant it. It starts out with acoustic guitar, and for the first 2-3 minutes, it is quite slow, but is saved from medicority, when the electric guitar from Urbanowicz starts pounding in, and at one point, becomes the loudest part of the whole album. A real treat.
Escape The Nest - 10
There are so many potential singles on this album (even when anger shows was hinted at being one) but this song must be heard on the radio. It is thumping, fast paced, and isn't about death for once (not that that thats a bad thing). The guitar is what really hits you at first, and almost slaps you on the face. The lyrics 'Look up through the trees that feel as small as you can' is about hope for the future, and Smith's vocal range during the chourus is really tested.
Spiders - 6.5
Underated song, that was one of the last songs the lads finished. It could have been better. Its a ballad full of metaphors. You even hear laughter at one, point, which either diminishs the record, or makes it unique, I'll leave that up to you.
Well Worn Hand - 7.5
This song is definitely an aqquired taste, if you know what I mean. Whilst many say it is cringe worthy, and pointless end to the album, I belive it is a perfect end. It consists of Smith and Urbanowicz playing piano and guitar respectivly. The lyrics speak of when Smith found out the news that his friend from school, was beaten to death for being homosexual. Yes, I know, extremely morbid, but it nearly moved me to tears. It is the most emotional song on the album, evident when Smith is crying out of tune at the end 'I'm so sorry'.
All in all, you get the whole shabang (oh I just cringed when I wrote that), but really you do. This is the best album of the year so far, and the best thing about Editors, is that they're better live, so go buy the album, then go see the band, they are a real treat.
on 24 June 2007
Editors debut The Back Room was a good album, although it never generated them the success that they undoubtedly deserve. An End Has a Start is a triumphant return; from the crashing title track to the intimacy and emotion of Push Your Head Towards The Air and will transoform many an opinion of the band.
The first single, Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors - is a fantastic combination of piano, thumping drums and spikey guitars. Oh, and Tom Smith's fantasic voice, which seems to soare through the song, asking "How can we wear our smiles/With our mouths wired shut." This is set to do for Ediotrs what Chasing Cars did for Snow Patrol.
The title track of the album is another triumph, with everything combining to truly amazing effect as Smith crying "You came on your own/Thats how you'le leave!" The lyrics describe the brutalness and ultimate lonliness of life, as even those with best intentions "lose everything".
The Weight of the World is one of the few instances where Tom Smith's lyrics talk of optimism and hope, claiming "Every little piece of your life/Will mean something to someonew, highlighting the love and loyalty of family.
Bones, while remaining a fantastic track, making a terrible attack on bulemia and anorexia is the most out of place song on the album, seemng better suited to The Back Room, being reminiscent of Blood and Bullets. "Bones, starved of flesh, surround your aching heart."
When Anger Shows, is Smith displaying the transformation that an emotion can cause in a person. The singer describes this as his favourite track on the album. Here, the interpol and comparisons are clear, as Smiths voice takes less of a role in the song, focusing more on the musical ability of the band as a whole.
The Racing Rats is one of my favourite songs on the album, with particularly poignant lyrics. Smiths almost pleads; "If a plane were to fall from the sky/How big a whole would it leave in the surface of the earth?"
Push Your Head Towards The Air is reminiscent of Coldplay, with piano and militaristic drumming. However, this takes nothing away from the song, indeed Tom's voice is particularly beautiful. The song is a again a reference to death and loss: "I will run, just to be by your side...Push your towards the sky."
Escape the nest is th most upbeat song mucically in the second half of the album and is particularly good live. The song reaches a crashing chorus, featuring a brilliant wall of sound, only for a guitar to cut through it bringing in the next verse.
Spiders is the one song on the album which i have failed to get into, so I will let people draw their own conclusions.
Well Worn Hand is the most simplistic and saddest song on the album, featuring only Tom's voice, guitar and piano. The lyrics reflect the emotions and feelings of those in the event of death: "Today I heard some bad news/Just what are we all supposed to do?" Smith then tells of the effect of of this on life: " I cant go put at night anymore." The song is a disturbing, yet touching way to conclude a fantastic album.
Match that, Interpol