Razorlight: Up All Night

By Derek Wright

Johnny Borrell is great. Ask him.

The former Libertines bassist has spent a year spouting off about his “brilliant” songwriting and his “impeccable” timing by leaving his mates before their drug use spiraled out of control. While taking all the credit for the current band’s success, he has built this quartet up to be revolutionary.

It isn’t. We’ve seen this brazen arrogance from Oasis’ Liam Gallagher for more than a decade. We’ve heard lyrics romancing London from Borrell’s ex-vocalist, Pete Doherty.

We’ve heard Television’s weaving guitar influence and The Clash’s shout-a-long chorus style fused with danceable rhythms.

But what we haven’t heard enough of are bands that make 3-minute songs sound like epics. By ignoring Borrell’s pretension, Razorlight reaches the magnitude its vocalist desperately demands.

Tracks such as “To The Sea” and “Vice” build to crescendos traditionally saved for 10-minute sagas. Whereas “Rock ‘n’ Roll Lies,” “Rip It Up” and “Stumble and Fall” cut straight to their raucous points and sound larger-than-life doing so.

Borrell’s biggest fault is not claiming to front the world’s greatest band, but rather ignoring that it is the band that makes him sound great – not the other way around.