‘Borrell 1’ (Stiff Records / Virgin EMI)
Britney Spears shaved her head. Johnny Borrell is releasing ‘Borrell 1’. Inexplicable, outrageous and a bit sad, both acts signal popstar meltdowns. Her stakes might’ve been higher, but Britney’s shorn locks mirror Johnny’s lyrical abominations and hopeless ideas.
‘Borrell 1’ is preposterous and almost resistant to criticism. Zazou (Johnny’s new band) strive for epic sequences with farting brass and piano. The lyrics prompt psychiatric wonderings: “I received an erotic letter, but it didn’t turn me on” (‘Erotic Letter’), “I strip the thorns off every rose, strap them inside my clothes, range through the darkness with my great big nose” (‘Cyrano Masochiste’).
Johnny says the album was “born in the spirit of a party”. But it’s a party full of twats that nobody would want to go to. Johnny and Zazou would be slumped in a corner, lovingly fingering their fringed suede while reminiscing about exotic lovers.
On ‘Erotic Letter’ Johnny sings, “there were some problems in your rock and roll career, they took your jokes seriously”. Tragically, he’s apparently taking his own jokes more seriously than ever. Masquerading as a relaxed return, ‘Borrell 1’ is a disaster that could obliterate any appeal Razorlight once had.
Hair grows back, credibility doesn’t.