Review: White Lies – Friends

WhiteLies

With their 2009 debut To Lose My Life White Lies were the late latecomers to the post-punk revival that had spawned bands such as Editors, The Killers or Kaiser Chiefs. Despite initially mixed reviews, their debut gained them a massive following and a major label deal.

Theoretically White Lies’ fourth album Friends is a game changer. After their last album-touring cycle, The band were temporarily without a label and decided to work on Friends without the pressure of a label or deadline. Practically, the self-produced record doesn’t see White Lies step out of their comfort zone at all.

The use of synths and big choruses are still a mainstay on Friends. Although the production is not quite as stadium sized as it was on 2013’s Big TV, the record still makes use of the anthemic and cinematic soundscapes that White Lies are known for.

According to the press release, the album’s title comes from the changing attitude to friendships. At the end of the day, Friends doesn’t live up to that statement as the majority of the songs tackle stories about love won and lost. The title track says it all: “how can we still be friends when we’re just a love that didn’t happen?”.

Video: White Lies – Take It Out On Me

Friends kicks off with the infectious first single Take It Out On Me but loses momentum soon after. The midtempo Morning in LA is the usual tale about an English man coming to the US where he is faced with mixed feelings and alienation. Harry McVeigh’s mellow vocals are excellent but Charles Cave’s lyrical skills leave much to be desired.

Many of the songs meander and consist of platitudes such as “No, I’m not gonna break your heart or even bruise it” (Don’t Want To Feel It At All) or “It hurts so much that my love might never be enough” (Is My Love Enough). This is the kind of truism you’d expect from a One Direction record but not from a band of grown up men approaching 30.

Friends briefly changes for the better on the flip side as Swing and Give A Sign return to the gloom and melancholy that once catapulted To Lose My Life into the charts.

At the end of its 50 minutes runtime, Friends is not a bad album but with its commonplace lyricism and familiar patterns, it is no more than a solid pop record.

With their 2009 debut To Lose My Life White Lies were the late latecomers to the post-punk revival that had spawned bands such as Editors, The Killers or Kaiser Chiefs. Despite initially mixed reviews, their debut gained them a massive following and a major label deal. Theoretically White Lies' fourth album Friends is a game changer. After their last album-touring cycle, The band were temporarily without a label and decided to work on Friends without the pressure of a label or deadline. Practically, the self-produced record doesn't see White Lies step out of their comfort zone at all. The use of synths and big choruses are still a mainstay…
Friends is not a bad album but with its commonplace lyricism and familiar patterns, it is no more than a solid pop record

Whites Lies - Friends

Composition
Lasting Appeal
Lyrics
Production

Solid

Friends is not a bad album but with its commonplace lyricism and familiar patterns, it is no more than a solid pop record

User Rating: 4.39 ( 9 votes)

Friends

by White Lies


An extensive UK and European tour, including a homecoming show at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on November 22nd, stretches from late September through to the start of December. Tour dates can be found below.

Tour dates:

September

28th - Turkey, Istanbul, Babylon
 30th - Greece, Thessaloniki, Principal Club Theatre

October

1st - Greece, Athens, Iera Odos
 13th - Netherlands, Amsterdam, Paradiso
 14th - Netherlands, Nijmegen, Doornroosje
 15th - France, Paris, Trabendo
 17th - Luxembourg, Atelier
 18th – Belgium, Brussels, AB
 21st - Germany, Frankfurt, Gibson
 22nd - Germany, Osnabruck, Rosenhof
 23rd - Germany, Cologne, Kantine
 25th - Denmark, Copenhagen, Vega
 26th - Sweden, Stockholm, Debaser
 27th - Norway, Oslo, Rockefeller
 29th - Denmark, Aarhus, Train
 30th - Germany, Hamburg, U&G
 31st - Germany, Berlin, Huxleys

November

2nd - Poland, Gdansk, Stary Manez
 3rd - Poland, Warsaw, Progesja
 4th - Czech Republic, Prague, Lucerna Music Hall
 5th - Austria, Vienna, Ottakringer Brauerei
 8th - Croatia, Zagreb, Tvornika Kulture
 9th - Germany, Munich, Fabrik
 10th - Switzerland, Zurich, Kauflauten
 11th - Switzerland, Lausanne, Metropop Festival
 13th - Italy, Rome, Orion
 14th - Italy, Milan, Fabrique
 16th - Spain, Barcelona, Razzmatazz
 17th - Spain, Madrid, Arena
 18th - Portugal, Lisbon, CCB
 22nd - UK, London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
 24th - UK, Nottingham, Rock City
 25th - UK, Manchester, Albert Hall
 26th - UK, Liverpool, Arts Club
 27th - UK, Glasgow, O2 ABC
 29th - UK, Birmingham, O2 Institute
 30th - UK, Leeds, Stylus

December

1st - UK, Bristol, O2 Academy

 


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