The Razors Edge, or how I learned to stop being and idiot and love the album
Part 2.The Razors Edge
rocks. It rocks hard. Harder than a rock, harder than a stone.
It´s probably one of the best Brian albums, after the mighty Back In Black
, Flick of the Switch
and a third one I´ll leave to your choice.
It sounds powerful
, raw at times, polished at some other times, fast and furious for the most part, a little catchy in a few spots, original and specially, ALIVE
The way I see it, the band wanted to go back to the old straight-to-the-face kind of songs, specially after Blow Up Your Video
had some true genious moments and a bunch of good ideas. But most of the songs seem to go nowhere, as if the Youngs didn´t know what to do with them. And forget about the production, Blow
must have the worst production for a rock album EVER
. Good job, George
But anyway, all of that is missing in The Razors Edge
” is probably the last true anthem the band has recorded. When the album came out, we (well, some of us
, the rest couldn´t see beyond their noses, see Part 1
) were in awe seeing how this incredible band was still able to amaze and surprise audiences. The old AC/DC
formula was well and alive, thank you. It was showing no age. “Thunderstruck
” is the perfect example of how the Youngs can still write good AC/DC
songs (sticking to the formula), and sound fresh and contemporary at the same time.
The problem with this song is, it was way overplayed. My advise to you is: forget about the song for a few months and then give it a listen, full blast. You´ll fall on your knees.
Another “problem” this song has, is the way it originated. “Thunderstruck
” was written to open live gigs with, period. Just in the same way “For Those
” was written to end them. It does not work in the middle of the set, it never will. Malcolm
, man, when are you gonna realize it? Use it at the beginning or simply drop it. Go all the way, man. Do not try to please everyone, because that´s impossible.
But those good old “Thunder! Thunder!” ain´t all The Razors Edge
has to offer. “Fire Your Guns
” is pure, 100% AC/DC
. I´ll never be able to understand how could anyone think otherwise. It is also one of the fastest, rawer and harder AC/DC songs. Think of it as “Whole Lotta Rosie
” on steroids. And Brian
sounds so powerful on this song, it´s just unbelievable. Just listen to this: “She got eyes of blue, body curves, and legs that´ll shake the EAAAAAAAARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
” I mean it, pick the album right now and listen to that particular moment. Listen to that “earth!”. That´s Brian
giving it all, man. Taking no prisioners. Holding his balls
hard and screaming his lungs out like there´s no tomorrow. I kinda miss that.
” is TRE
´s radio friendly song. Make no mistake, each post-1978 AC/DC
album has at least one, so try to be fair with this one. People seem to have trouble listening beyond the chorus. Yeah, the chorus can get a little annoying once in a while, but hey, a chorus on its own does not make a song. There are other things worth of some consideration, y´know? One thing stands out from this song, and that´s the solo. Angus
was specially inspired on this one. It´s one of Angus
´s best solos……and I obviously mean “recent” solos (I consider TRE
a recent album), because now they tend to be shorter and shorter. I wish Angus
would go back to those cool and long solos, as in “Riff Raff
”, but I digress. Anyway, this is a fun song, and the lyrics are great.
“The Razors Edge
” is, I believe, the closest to heavy metal AC/DC
have ever got. It is still far from being metal, actually, but the song structure is reminiscent of some metal clichés
fans are, for the most part, classic rock fans, so I can understand why this song doesn´t get the credit it surely deserves. Me, being also a heavy metal listener, consider this song one of this album´s highlights. It might not be a great song, but I like it if only for being a little bit different and original. Angus
goes wild in the solo.
“Mistress for Christmas
”. This is the band fooling around. Nothing to die for, but fun once in a while. Not my favorite song on the album. Let´s move on…
to… “Rock Your Heart Out
”. These two last songs prevent the SIDE ONE of this album from scoring an “A”. It reminds me of “Blow
” in the way they had a great riff, but somehow the song does not find its core. Actually, the song is a true rocker until it gets to the “bridge”. Those long “roooooooooooock, rooooooooock” are weird, man. Something´s wrong in there, specially when they do it twice before the chorus kicks off the second time. It just doesn´t sound right to me. Not my piece of cake. But as in “MoneyTalks
”, there are cool little parts you can enjoy if you want.. I like how the song ends, with Brian
singing the line on his own and stuff. Also, it was cool to hear AC/DC
sing about the good old Devil once again ;)
I didn´t want to write a full review, mostly because you´ve already read a hundred of them. So I´ll skip a couple of songs, and go straight to one of my all time back-to-back faves: “Shot of Love
” and “Let´s Make It
”. I think these two, specially the first one, are the truly gems on this album. Once again, all the “flaws” this album is supposed to have, are nowhere
to be found. Fairbairn
´s production is not even noticeable (apart from the drums, I mean), the riffs are great, the vocal melodies very cool, and the solos great. “Let´s Make It
” gets a bit repetitive near the end, but that´s about it.
As I said, what I like the most about this great album is how FRESH
it sounds. It´s still the same AC/DC we all love, but with a few details here and there that made it very, very contemporary. Somehow, that spontaneity was lost 5 years later in “BallBreaker
”, and the band sounds tired and unexpired in “Stiff Upper Sleep
” (sorry Cali!). But that´s another story that should be told….oh, you know the drill.