Smith & Burrows Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough Play It Again Sam
In 2011, Editors’ Tom Smith and Razorlight’s Andy Burrows came together to release a Christmas album, Funny Looking Angels. The record was, as far as side-projects go, surprisingly poignant, but few sincerely expected a follow-up. A decade later, perhaps spurred on by a sense of nostalgia, they’ve teamed up for album number two. The result is a disjointed collection of guitar pop, veering from the near-superb to plain daft.
Opener All the Best Moves and first single Old TV Showsare clear high points, both demonstrating the band’s most winning quality: their sense for melody. The latter, a grin-inducing slice of MOR rock that lays the nostalgia on thick, the former, a catchy, strum-along that’s also an ode to mediocrity (“play me the hits!”).
These charming moments are overshadowed by ill-judged deviations beyond their comfort zone, as on the carnival-leaning Buccaneer Rum Jumm. Elsewhere, on Spaghetti, Smith talks of “sucking you down” – the pasta is a metaphor! – while Straight Up Like a Mohican is so irredeemably bad you begin to wonder if ex-Razorlight drummer Burrows, who wrote songs for and acted in David Brent: Life on the Road, had forgotten he was no longer on set.
The lightheartedness that runs through the record suggests that Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough presented a light-hearted detour from business as usual for the duo. But for all but the most devoted mid-aughts rock fan, the clumsiness of the execution makes Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough all a bit of a chore. In short, not quite enough.