Johnny Borrell has more than his fair share of detractors, those who take offence with his bolshie, semi-messianic front man shtick, but with the release of Razorlight it's now impossible to deny that the man simply oozes talent. Like a rather vicious slap in the face, the four-piece's striking second album is an unforgettable short, sharp shock - with just 10 songs spread over 35 minutes it never gets the chance to outstay its welcome and touches on everything great about classic, epic rock from the past 30 years. The ambitious Los Angeles Waltz is emotion-laden Springsteen through and through, but the group are careful not to Americanise themselves too much, so as recompense we get amusing lyrical references to London's Turnpike Lane.
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.
Sometimes the sophomore slump yields Razorlight. Bookended by "In the Morning," the hangover following the London quartet's splashy Up All Night, and anthemic closer "Los Angeles Waltz," Razorlight shoots from the hip noticeably more immediate than the group's more manicured 2004 debut. The run-and-gun nature of second albums sometimes boils a band down to its essence.