“Print me a Razorlight album that doesn’t totally suck” is the message in the opening voice sample from Olympus Sleeping, Razorlight’s first album in a decade. It’s an accurate summary of an album that isn’t dreadful, but also not quite worth the decade-long wait.
Johnny Borrell has returned to the indie world with a confident yet somewhat-dated sound and nothing new to bring to the table. The leading single, Carry Yourself follows the basic indie-pop algorithm to create an upbeat tune with some nice guitar melodies. However, it’s nothing we haven’t heard in recent years from the likes of Two Door Cinema Club. Despite this, it’s still probably the strongest track on the album.
There are small glimpses of the classic Razorlight sound in Japanrock and Olympus Sleeping, with nice vocal lines and strong main melodies. In addition, Brighton Pier has a really enjoyable baseline, resembling those of The Jam/Paul Weller. A lot of the album does seem to have strong influences from other indie artists, therefore removing some sense of originality. But hey, why complain when there are worse artists to sound like?
The album is much stronger lyrically, with Borrell showcasing his ability yet again. Tracks like No Answers express his feelings well, nicely matching the tone of the song. Whilst Iceman has the cheeky lyric, “Yeah I sing for weddings, I do bar mitzvahs too”, adding to the fun feel of the record.
This album was a fair attempt at filling the current fun rock n’ roll void, with many of the tracks being upbeat, spirited and an easy listen. Trying to reignite the early 2000s era was always going to be a challenge, but this album will likely be quickly forgotten. It seems to just miss that “Golden Touch” Razorlight once had, with the drums sounding very electronic and certain melodies seeming somewhat cautious.
Although this may not have been the comeback many Razorlight fans, including myself, were hoping for, Borrell has made a nice contribution to the indie rock world. Hardly ground-breaking but it is nice to hear the boys back on the scene.
Olympus Sleeping is out now on Vertigo. Razorlight tour the UK in December and will be performing at Liverpool 02 Academy