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The Monday Meh! – Razorlight

Confidence goes a long way in the workplace. Sometimes simply having the chutzpah to say ‘we are wonderful’ and doing it often enough pays off. You see it in any industry; guys who have achieved massive and continuing success without giving off any reason for it. Despite the fact that others within the organisation seem to produce better results and have more qualities, the loudest, brashest characters seem to prosper. It’s unfair, but it’s life. Should they be hated simply for making their meagre talents go further?

In Razorlight’s case, yes. Yes they should.

Razorlight have always been more successful than listenable. When they first emerged, they seemed another indie-rock act destined to make a few quid on the back of the Strokes and the Libertines making guitar music relevant. Nothing to see here, move along. But then the world was introduced to Jonny Borrell. He’d been in the Libertines for about 20 minutes once, you see, which seemed to give him the confidence to really release his inner twat. Which he did. Oh man, did he.

Fair’s fair though – the first few singles were all right. Honest. ‘Golden Touch’, ‘Stumble and Fall’, ‘Vice’….they were very serviceable pop singles. But then the mere scent of sales created a monster. ‘I’m a better songwriter than Bob Dylan’ quoth Borrell, a ludicrous statement from most but an absolutely fucking mental one from a white t-shirted tit and a gang of generic NME backing musicians. Even at that, it would have been possible to simply pat him on the head patronisingly and hope he’d piss off, but the sad truth became apparent: he really did believe it. It’s the equivalent of those mental people you see auditioning for X Factor who clearly can’t sing. You feel pity and revulsion in equal measure.

But it was their second album which really did it. Pompous, overblown and colossally silly, it redefined the gap between ability and attitude to a scary degree. The nadir was ‘America’, a song so fundamentally stupid that it resembled Sarah Palin after a bang on the head. People loved it, but people loved Jade Goody and that didn’t make sense either.

So why are Razorlight so bad? Plodding choruses, overwrought vocals – he often sounds like he’s been startled when passing a large deposit of fecal matter into a cold lavvy pan – and that pyschotically large sense of confidence. Razorlight simply told the lie and repeated it often enough. ‘We are great’, they said, ‘and you fools will believe us.’ And enough people did to make sure we’ll never be shot of them.

Tests your faith in humanity sometimes, this job.


2 Responses

  1. i used to fancy johnny at the very very beginning…our very own adrian mole shamed me out of it.

  2. You owe Adrian a debt of thanks for that Sudehead!

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