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The Back Room

77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

England's Editors and their debut album the BACK ROOM, an invigorating, intoxicating blend of UK industrial town rock music and present day thump, carrying a brightness in sound which separates it from the pack.

Sure, The Editors are a bit dour, what with songs like "Blood" and "Bullets" and "Fall" sporting baleful themes. And the oft-noted similarity between them and Interpol will be apparent to listeners on the near-instant basis of the bands' singers, who share a bellowy, stentorian voice, which means, really, that both are fond of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. The Editors, in fact, come closer to Joy Division (geographically they're nearly kin, being from Manchester). Deploying an instrumental color palette of their dark early-80s predecessors, The Editors win with chiming guitar work--as on "Someone Says," which shifts rhythms a la Interpol even while sounding wider-ranged and better-lit. Vocally, Tom Smith can wobble the edges with tremors of urgency stoked by Chris Urbanowicz's guitar atmospherics and occasional outbursts. "Fingers in the Factories," a lyrically mirthless little number that interjects a stellar combo of simple beat and bright-toned guitars to charge up the labor-related lyrics, driving Smith to an emotional charge, something that lots of post-Echo and the Bunnymen ensembles have difficulty doing convincingly. The Editors manage energy in the service of drama, a near-necessity in rock. --Andrew Bartlett
Song Title Time Popularity
1 2:31
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2 3:46
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3 3:27
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4 5:05
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5 3:32
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6 5:01
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7 4:14
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8 3:09
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9 3:11
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10 6:00
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11 3:38
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B000EDWL82
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,962 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Randy L. Sharp on March 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD
There are lots of bands doing 80s Brit-rock these days: The Killers, Interpol, The Bravery. But here's a novel idea, how `bout Brit-rock from a band that is actually (gasp) British! Hailing from Birmingham these four former Stafford University students have had the U.K press buzzing about their 2005 debut disc The Back Room. Well after months of waiting, The Editors have finally hit the U.S. market.

I will tell you right now I love this disc. I have had it in my play rotation for four solid months (I got it as an import). Yes, they sound a bit like Interpol from the standpoint that both singers have that deadpan sort of Joy Division style going. But I think that The Editors' Tom Smith brings more of a flow and less of a drone to the music. His baritone voice fits in nicely with the overall minor key mood of the songs and never tries to go where it shouldn't.

A more apt comparison of the Editors' sound is to that of 80s alternative bands The Chameleons U.K., Cactus World News and Echo & The Bunnymen. Soaring and edgy guitars layered with just enough minor chords and shadows of goth to be cool but not too depressing. The guitar firepower is not in flashy solos but in mood building chords that instantly catch you and keep you focused and hooked.

"Lights" comes hard and fast right out of the gate while Smith croons, "I've got a million things to say." The bass and drums lay down a blistering pace and the guitars reverb up a storm of melody. Hot on the heels is "Munich," with more of the same guitar power and passion. By this point in the disc you will have already decided whether you love them or not.

The beat keeps driving but the lyrics turn a bit darker on "Blood.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By cagey on August 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A lot of bands have come close to emulating the retro 80's post-punk sound but, except for Interpol, none have really captured my

attention more than Editors. As soon as I heard "Munich" on the UK XFM radio in early 2005 I was hooked. I had to work a little

bit to find other Editors songs since the album wasn't available here at the time.

Tom Smith's vocals have an earnestness as if he's trying to convince a jury to find him not guilty, as if his life is

at stake. Chris Urbanowicz's razor sharp guitars at times pulse, wail, or soar throughout the album. And Russell Leetch's

bass blends well with Ed Lay's tight drumming.

"Munich" is a song that has to be played loud, one of the most thrilling songs in the last 5 years, and my pick for

single of the year for 2005. "Blood" is another track to be played on repeat and it contains some of the albums'

more memorable lyrics. The opening bars of of my recent fave "Someone Says" are practically a homage to any early U2

song you can think of, with it's driving beat and staccato guitar tones. First single, "Bullets", has less of a melancholy

feel than some of the other tracks and a great thrashing, repeated chorus. There are a couple of slower tracks too, including

"Fall" and "Camera" where Smith employs some simple keyboards.

The bottom line is Editors can write and perform some impressive tunes, songs and riffs that stay in your head days

after you hear them. And I'm hoping for even greater things in their future releases.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By alexander laurence on June 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
It is 2006 already, and we have maybe the first exciting new band of the year. I first heard this record on the Rodney Bingenheimer show one late night. I thought it was a new obscure Interpol track. Of course I heard the whole album, and it seems that there is another band from England who loves Joy Division and some of the more forgotten post-punk bands. Singer Tom Smith even sounds more like Ian Curtis than Paul Banks does. On the first two tracks, Editors have the atmosphere of U2 (1982) more so than Joy Division. Like some post-punk bands, like Echo and The Bunnymen, Editors have a lot of dynamic with their two guitars, rather than being bass driven like Joy Division. Some of the songs like "Blood" and "All Sparks" are very catchy and remarkable. This band is no copyist. There are slow moody pieces and faster dancey songs like "Someone Says" which is more like Bloc Party. When you think that there is nothing left, they come up with a killer track like "Bullets" which has the repeating phrase "You don't need this disease." There is a very hopeful yearning on most of the songs. The presentation is rather sparse and architectural. Most of the songs have one-word titles. Editors is all about saying more with less. I look forward to seeing them play live.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Editors stormed on the UK music scene in early 2005 with the single "Bullets", and haven't looked back since. The band's sound is reminiscent of Echo and the Bunnymen and Interpol (I played the CD to my 15 yr. old daughter and after 2 songs she said "hey, this sounds like Interpol", and she meant it as a compliment).

"The Back Room" (11 tracks, 43 min.) starts off with a 2'30 min. blazing "Lights", with lead singer Tom Smith proclaiming "I've Got A Million Things To Say", and boy, do they ever. Outstanding songs follow: "Munich" (the second single) is mesmerizing, "Blood" (third single) is almost danceable, in a dark kinda way. Other highlights include "All Sparks", the epic "Open Your Arms" and the closer "Distance", but there really isn't a weak track on the album. "Bullets" has just been re-released in the UK as a single, and you can just feel this band is going places.

Many have commented that this album is the UK's response to Interpol's "Turn on the Bright Lights", and I have to agree. This is a near-perfect album, drenched with urgency from beginning to end, just beautiful. It begs the question not if but when this album will find a US release and a US audience. "The Back Room" is easily one of the best albums of 2005. Highly recommended!
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