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.