This hard hitting 2007 second album by Birmingham based Indie Rock band Editors puts forward improved material and a bigger, better sound. With more instruments, better vocals and stronger tracks. After the disappointing debut album The Back Room, Editors began an extensive tour, then showcasing new material in place of the older album tracks from The Back Room. They started to play bigger venues and became a household name, being played on commercial radio and mentioned by the big 'DJ' names from Radio 1 like Moyles and Lowe.
It opens with 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors', with deeper lyrics and a piano, it starts a different era in Editors Indie sound. They have the same structure, with little breaks and an inclined chorus. This song is my personal favourite in the bands discography, with the final few minutes featuring soaring guitars and a great vocal by Tom Smith, eventually leading to the focus on bass and eventful kick which has layered guitars and faster drumming and several vocal layers to create a bigger, arena sound.
Just as strong, the title track has the same kind of sound, but has a bigger emphasis on the lyrics which flow perfectly with the music and lead into the chorus like an experienced band does. This track features a great guitar riff which is played in parallel with a sytnhesizer, just faintly heard. It has nice lyrics like "Somethings should be simple, even an end has a start", which keep the song heard. The vocal is far better here than on anything else on the album, with deep sounding Baritone and emotion, Tom gives his all.
We hear melodic songs with 'Push Your Head Towards The Air', which features great orchestral instrumentation with a focus on violin. It's a slow, progressive track which ends up in a wall of noise. It's one of the more beautiful tracks on the album, with dignified vocals and great bass work. It's the same with 'Bones', which features a high pitched guitar riff. It's another one of these strong tracks which stands out amongst the filler.
'The Racing Rats' is a hard hitting, fast paced track with exceptional guitar work and has the same feel as 'Bullets' from The Back Room. It's one of the singles and so it should be with the piano riff and vocal work. It stands out above the lesser skilled tracks like 'Spiders'. I think 'The Racing Rats' has the best guitar work on the album, with great audio coming from each side of the speakers, it's not too basic, it's just about right, with clear guitar work.
Where songs fell short on The Back Room, this album is far more dense. It reaches into orchestral instrumentation well, although it's not that noticeable. The vocals are far more intelligent sounding, which was needed after the bad mix between vocal/instrumentation on The Back Room. This album is an improvement in my opinion, but it's still missing some key ingredients, it's lacking originality and just strong songs in general. The album tracks like 'Spiders' and 'Well Worn Hand' do nothing for me, or the band.