Monday, January 26, 2009

Review: White Lies - To Lose My Life...

Artist: White Lies
Album: To Lose My Life...
Rating: 3 out of 5
In a nutshell: What's with all the hype?

Apparently the next big thing in stadium rock are White Lies, a West London outfit, clearly influenced by the epic eighties sound. Think The Killers and Arcade Fire rolled into one. Even before the album came out, the buzz was there. This was the album that people predicted to be the debut album of 2009.

My first taste of White Lies was a couple of years ago courtesy of a remix of 'Death' by Crystal Castles, and from that track I couldn't have guessed that this was a band destined to fill stadiums with their soaring choruses and clumsy lyrics. Yes, the lyrics are clumsy, like the poems of your next-door teenager. Yet they are as catchy as they are clunky. "Let's grow old together / And die at the same time" from the song 'To Lose My Life' is sweet and morbid, but sounds so unpoetical and simple that it loses its impact.

The songs grow on you, like all catchy arena indie (hi, The Killers). The music sounds like it should be uplifting, but a close listen to the lyrics and then the album title makes sense. It's obsessed with death ("You've got blood on your hands (Unfinished Business)" "If you tell me to jump, then I'll die (E.S.T.)). The imagery is often lost, and it definitely shows that they try so hard to make the lyrics as epic as they can be, it borders on pretentious poetry ("I wonder what keeps us so high up / Could there be a love beneath these wings" (Death)).

Don't get me wrong, the album is good. It's decent. I can listen to this album for hours without getting annoyed at its wanting-to-be-epic choruses like I do with U2. But the thing is, after those hours of listening, I must say it's ultimately quite forgettable.

Signing out

Over and out
Now playing: White Lies - Unfinished Business
via FoxyTunes

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