Editors singer Tom Smith is blessed with that peculiarly British ability to sound simultaneously suave and pained, as if admiring his reflection in a shit-house mirror. When Smith vagues out, so does The Back Room: On "Open Your Arms," Smith stretches his wavery baritone into near oblivion over a slate-gray patter that sounds like Vicodin-numbed Death Cab for Cutie; with "Lights," Smith gazes into the void with a desperation that's damn near cloying. On the album's best songs, the give-and-take between Smith's gossamer croon and his band's tensile shimmer can be seductive. "Bullets" sports a brittle, noise-flecked groove that blossoms into a resplendent spattering of spidery guitars; "All Sparks" delivers a chorus worthy of top-shelf Coldplay. "If fortune favors the brave, then I'm as poor as they come," Smith sings early on. There's the rub: On The Back Room, Smith gets lost in his own gloom-addled mind while attempting to turn despair into gleaming euphoria, and ends up only halfway toward the light.
(Posted: Mar, 9 2006)
Click the play button.
Register or enter your username and password.
Let the music play!