Olympus Sleeping (Atlantic Culture)
IT’S fair to say that by the time Razorlight released their third and most recent album ten years ago, the public perception of voluble frontman Johnny Borrell was such that its musical qualities were always bound to be overlooked.
God loves a trier, though. In 2013 Borrell released a solo album notable chiefly for the scale with which it tanked. Now he’s back, under the Razorlight name, and the apparent impression that Britain is desperate for the bottled essence of mid-noughties indie.
Olympus Sleeping opens with the spoken line, ‘Genie, this is Aladdin: print me a Razorlight album that doesn’t totally suck’ — the pop equivalent of Theresa May’s disarming dance on to the stage. Indeed, Olympus Sleeping doesn’t totally suck. It’s crisp, energetic and at moments rather jolly.
It’s also unabashed in its continued embrace of every grandiose mannerism and rawk’n’roll absurdity that made Borrell such a preposterous figure in the first place.
There’s a certain shameless bravado to its very existence that is at once faintly endearing and quite hilarious.