The Razor's Edge


Atco Records, 1990

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


For Angus Young and crew, The Razor’s Edge had to be the answer to AC/DC’s prayers. After a period in the mid 1980s where their album sales had suffered, they released an album that not only put them near the top of the Billboard charts, but gave them their most successful single with “Moneytalks.”

If only the album was really worthy of all that praise. In fact, this proves to be one of their weaker outings, high sales and hit single be damned.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

From the opening track “Thunderstruck,” two immediate problems can be heard. First, new drummer Chris Slade might be an amazing musician, but his approach to drumming just does not fit AC/DC’s style. Second, producer Bruce Fairbairn creates too clean of a sound for a band known for their sonic grit. “Moneytalks” further illustrates these two pitfalls.

The bulk of The Razor’s Edge that is left is pretty much filler… but with a lasciviousness that suggests the band was beginning to believe their own press releases. “Mistress For Christmas”? Really? “Got You By The Balls”?

And when the songs weren’t about the ol’ nether regions, they also were nothing noteworthy. “Shot Of Love” and “Goodbye And Good Riddance To Bad Luck” are the most listenable in the batch, but they still didn’t equal the high water marks of past work.

Musically, the band sounds tighter than they ever did; if Fairbairn could be credited with anything, it’s the strength of the backing vocals (which have never been a strong point of the band in the live setting). Vocalist Brian Johnson, however, sounds a bit strained; they’ve lost a bit of the richness they had just one album prior.

But, some folks say, you’re a card-carrying drooling fan of AC/DC, right? Well, yes… but that doesn’t mean I have to like everything they put out. And The Razor’s Edge is an album I’ve never liked since the day it came out. Too much filler, too much polish, too little humor in the lyrics all equals an album that is a disappointment.

Rating: C-

User Rating: B



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