Review Summary: ”In the end, all you can hope for is the love you felt to equal the pain you’ve gone through.””In the end, all you can hope for is the love you felt to equal the pain you’ve gone through.”
On Editors 2nd album, An End Has A Start
there appears to be definite concept weaved throughout the songs – that while life is terrible, there is always hope. However, the hopeful side of things struggles to lift its head through the murk and the gloom – instead, we are left with a desperately sad record of one’s own mortality and relationships that grow stale.
The record starts with a heartbeat – or, more accurately, pounding drums. Following suit, piano, bass and soaring guitar flows in, accompanied by Tom Smith’s powerfully emotional vocals. The lyrics themselves present depressing observations ”The saddest thing that I ever saw were the smokers outside the hospital doors”
and firm, cruel statements ”Say goodbye to everyone you have ever known, you are not gonna see them ever again”
An End Has A Start
continues the theme of imminent death while Weight of the World
sums it up with an air of finality which turns out to be the most ‘hopeful’ tune on the record, albeit in a sense that won’t help you while you’re still living: ”Every little piece in your life/Will mean something to someone”
. Certainly makes you feel better about carking without doing anything ‘meaningful’ with your life.
The rest of the album is less structured, each song about a different subject – ranging from broken relationships, being swallowed in the ever increasing pace of the world all the way down to, yes…death. The instrumentation is constant – soaring guitars that lend more to the atmosphere than the energy; the beating pulse of the drums, which represent the heartbeat of the album; a driving bass line in each song; subtle piano…and Smiths magnificent voice.
In fact, the album almost falls into a decaying rut until, out of nowhere, bursts Escape The Nest
which pulses energy back into the record, the guitars, for once, playing a definite riff and the lyrics gaining an edge of determination rather than resignation.
The next song Spiders
also profits from this new found momentum. While reverting back to a slow rocker, it contains the same determination…if rather more ambiguous. Unfortunately, Well Worn Hand
proves to be worst song on the album, its pulls the tempo back further than any other song, essentially becoming a piano ballad. However, Smith’s lyrics have always lacked any real rhythm and that fact really shines through on this song, accentuated by his worst singing on the record.
So, overall, An End Has A Start
proves to be depressing, bleak and unfortunately, rather repetitive. It shows a lot of potential, just next time, the band could do with stretching out a little and experimenting with different structures and soundscapes.
Highlights: Weight of the World, Escape The Nest, Spiders.
Lowlights: Well Worn Hand, When Anger Shows