Editors' 2005 debut 'The Back Room' announced a band  of great promise, who could summon up much power and drama in their songs and make an album which didn't sound like a couple of singles with lulls in between.

But 'The Back Room' also showed that the quartet had some work to do to set themselves apart from those who had gone before. The big question preceding 'An End Has a Start' was whether they would make that jump; they haven't, but this is still a strong piece of work.

Working with Snow Patrol and Bloc Party producer Jackknife Lee, Editors' sound here is colossal. Once again, the sense of urgency in their songs is addictive, and every track here feels as if it has been poured over with the same care as the one beside it. That is some achievement.

Where 'An End Has a Start' suffers is that many songs are inter-changeable with those on 'The Back Room': these sound more epic, but the template is still the same. It could be that Editors' willingness to take risks will be what defines their career - and their third record must answer that question one way or the other.

Until then, there is much to admire here. 'Escape the Nest' is an amazing four minutes of rock; the piano-led 'Well Worn Hand' is the most poignant thing the band have done up to now and 'Spiders' suggests that they can bring their music from monochrome to full colour.

This is an album about death and loss that's strangely uplifting and which has some stunning moments. And if the line "I don't think it's going to rain again today" doesn't make you laugh this summer, well, nothing ever will.

Harry Guerin

To buy 'An End Has a Start' from the RTÉ eshop click here.