Review: Razorlight, ‘Slipway Fires’

Razorlight, ‘Slipway Fires’: Aidin Vaziri | Multiplatinum stars back home, Razorlight got notice here only briefly, when lanky front man Johnny Borrell and starlet Kirsten Dunst, left, were spotted riding around Austin, Texas, on the back of his rented Harley. Don’t look for a breakthrough now. The British group’s third album trades accessibility for ambition. No expense has been spared in the making of “Slipway Fires” – the video for the single “Wire to Wire” was directed by two-time Oscar nominee Stephen Frears. Yet for all the strings, lush pianos and blinding ambition, the band sounds strangely soulless. The scruffy charm exhibited on stunning early singles such as “Stumble and Fall” and “In the Morning” is gone. The new material hardly measures up to its ornate surroundings. The power ballads sound more preposterous than inspired, and the rock tunes are stuffed with ’80s-scented cliches. It’s all you can do to keep your lunch down when, on “North London Trash,” Borrell sings with exacting sincerity, “I’ve got a hot-bodied girlfriend, who makes the cameras flash!”

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