Johnny Borrell – Borrell 1
A bit of an infamous name in the music industry, Johnny Borrell is a man with an agenda; a point to prove. Gone is the boy who was kicked out of The Libertines after a day, who apparently organised two people to beat up Pete Doherty (as if he didn’t have enough issues) and who claimed “[Bob] Dylan is making the chips. I’m drinking champagne”. Borrell is 33 now, and this coming of age has shown in his latest solo release ‘Borrell 1’.
The name suggests new beginnings for Borrell, as well as the start to his solo career. While it may not be a budding career due to his age, Borrell has his fans and critics alike that will always stakehold into whatever he releases; that’s probably a benefit of his infamy.
The album kicks off with an audaciously upbeat opener mixing light percussion, chirpy trumpets and a smooth piano riff running underneath the whole thing. ‘Power to the Woman’ seems to be a song about his mourning of a previous relationship, and his mis-appreciation of his ‘woman’.
You can sing power, power to the woman, shed your skin for your woman, oh but your woman is gone, gone, gone
If you liked Razorlight, you will probably like this, it’s just not as good (as the self-titled album, anyway, which remains to be one of my favourites). Borrell’s solo style doesn’t differ that much from the one of the band he fronts, as obvious as it sounds, but these songs could be released under the Razorlight name and people probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid, it’s just a little bit off-the-pace both speed and quality-wise.
The ever-important closer to an album is what really hits home though. ‘Erotic Letter’, despite the absurd name (I can’t fathom any metaphorical meaning behind it), is a self-reflective piece by Johnny about his career and he sings openly about his critics who question his behaviour. The only issue with talent is a person’s ability to flaunt it excessively in a pompous manner. I think you have to admit, he’s talented, and thankfully he’s toned down the pompous attitude that gained him his egotistical, self-loving reputation.
You said you couldn’t love your body, but many others do. You said that you were leaving, but you never really do
It’s fair to say that Johnny was somewhat made an example of in the past for this issue, as described by the lyrics above. The second part suggests that Johnny is prepared for more criticism if it comes his way.
There were some problems in your rock-and-roll career. They took your jokes seriously, and laughed when you were sincere
It’s pretty clear Johnny feels as if he was misunderstood, looking back.
To conclude, it’s a decent album. Nothing incredible, nothing despicable, and it’s well worth a listen whether you’re a Borrell fan or not.
Cheers for reading guys and girls,