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Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | EMI

Picking up where they left off with 2004's platinum-selling Up All Night, London's Razorlight pack a solid alt rock punch on their self-titled sophomore effort. Johnny Borrell (vocals/guitar) Björn Åquen (guitar), Carl Dalemo (bass), and Andy Burrows (drums) join producer Chris E. Thomas (the Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music) for these tracks, and together they've turned Razorlight's party rock sound into something more playful and sharp. Razorlight will no longer tolerate being lumped in with the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, Snow Patrol, and Keane, for the ambitious quartet combines elements of '60s pop, Motown, and Brit-pop for an overall clean performance. Vibrant harmonies, bright, lively musicianship and Borrell's Neil Finn-like vocals carry the weight of Razorlight, and songs such as "Hold On," "In the Morning," and "Pop Song 2006" highlight Razorlight's youthful, carefree presence. What makes Razorlight a personable band is that they find the balance between sincerity and seriousness. They make honest indie rock for those looking for a solid, good song. There's no frills, no fancy production, just the purity of these songs. That combination, however, might be a bit monotonous for those looking for their next fix of Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | EMI

Slipway Fires is Razorlight's most mainstream release to date, an album that downplays the band's garage-rock past for something akin to Snow Patrol's adult-approved pop. Theatrical harmonies and hooks demonstrate the band's growth -- they're no longer ripping off the Strokes, having left the swaggering sounds of Up All Night far behind -- but growth is the very problem with Slipway Fires, whose mature, polished tones might as well have been recorded by middle-aged AOR vets rather than Clash-loving twentysomethings. This is an album of earnest piano ballads and well-scrubbed rock, an album that sports song titles like "North London Trash" but sounds as dirty as early-'80s Fleetwood Mac. At times, the earnest posturing gives way to something like "Tabloid Lover," a fun, shamelessly trashy romp that takes its cues from the Bangles. Another highlight, "Burberry Blue Eyes," calls to mind the Feeling's bouncy power pop, but while such a song would sound appropriate on the Feeling's next release, it's hard to reconcile the fact that Razorlight -- a band that previously sang about bar-filled evenings and hung-over mornings -- have now traded in their street-smart denim for songs about luxury clothing chains. Enjoying Slipway Fires requires a suspension of disbelief, a conscious separation between the band's past and the (somewhat ludicrous) present. Of course, not looking at the outlandishly serious cover art -- in which frontman Johnny Borrell attacks the camera with a smoldering glare, an unbuttoned dress shirt, and a seemingly un-ironic pearl necklace -- may also help. © Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | EMI

There must be a healthy middle when it comes to capturing the essence of Brit-pop. Something in between the impenetrable swagger of Liam and Noel Gallagher and the vacuous and hollow bravado of Jet that can both pay homage to big riffs and bad attitude, yet still maintain a unique personality, which is what made the rock gods of yesteryear so endearing. Razorlight mastermind, lead singer/guitarist Johnny Borrell wants so desperately to be the next Joe Strummer or Lou Reed, and for what Razorlight's first album lacks in identity, it gathers momentum on effort and sheer will. It's the same, albeit slightly worse, garage rock revival record that's been all too common in the early 2000s, but quick, aggressive tracks such as "Vice," "Rip It Up," "Golden Touch" and "Stumble and Fall" are undeniably catchy and Borrell himself is largely responsible for playing them as if he really were the next Freddie Mercury. He wails and passionately groans over some horribly vapid vocals, "hey girl/get on the dancefloor/rip it up, yeah/that's what it's there for" (on "Rip It Up") but even a bad cover version of your favorite Strokes-type song can still appeal to the less cynical part of your brain. Even John Cornfield and Borrell's production seems like a shoddy attempt to re-create the frontman's favorite records note for note. His desire to add a layer of grime by muddying up the louder moments (such as on "Don't Go Back to Dalston," which starts off quietly before careening into a bloated call and response conclusion) doesn't remove the feeling that the entire recording process was extremely sterile. At this stage, Borrell lacks the confidence to move beyond his idols, and his energetic music remains a game of spot the influence. © Erik Leijon /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 26, 2018 | Atlantic Culture Records

Since 2008's Slipway Fires Razorlight have been a bit off the radar. No official split: just a ten-year pause for a group that have attracted some big crowds over the years and opened for the Stones, U2 and even Queen. Their leader, the charismatic Johnny Borrell (a former Libertine), had a bit of a reshuffle. Andy Burrows, Björn Ågren and Carl Dalemo, the former members, left for good and were replaced by Gus Robertson, João Mello and David Sullivan-Kaplan. Borrell, who moved to the Basque Country and gave up rock’n’roll, was drawn back in for this fourth album, Olympus Sleeping. With a Britpop style reminiscent of The Jam (Brighton Pier) and the streets of London, this record is a passionate declaration of love for the genre. The compositions are personal, but within them Borrell evokes his influences, from the Buzzcocks to The Velvet Underground. Catchy choruses with a touch of The Strokes, Razorlight fall into flashback mode with some songs on Olympus Sleeping that would fit perfectly on a Billy Elliot soundtrack. Frenetic guitars on Japanrock and bass pop for Midsummer Girl, Johnny Borrell juggles sadness and euphoria mixed with a striking songwriting talent. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | EMI

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Rock - Released July 26, 2019 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released May 1, 2020 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released July 3, 2006 | EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | EMI

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Rock - Released October 12, 2018 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released August 29, 2018 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released August 28, 2018 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released August 28, 2018 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released February 1, 2019 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI

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Rock - Released August 28, 2018 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released November 30, 2018 | Atlantic Culture Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | EMI

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Razorlight in the magazine