Home > News & Reviews > White Lies

White Lies - Big TV (Album Review)

Monday, 12 August 2013 Written by Graeme Marsh

Since their formation in 2007, Ealing post-punks White Lies have secured a comfortable spot alongside Editors and Interpol as purveyors of Joy Division-inspired doom and gloom.

Their critically-acclaimed debut, ‘To Lose My Life’, surfaced in 2009 and reached the top of the UK album charts, while its follow-up, ‘Ritual’, fared less well. Still ploughing the same furrow, it was a reasonable effort but lacked the individual highlights of its predecessor. 

Their third album, ‘Big TV’, is now upon us, its arrival heralded by the free release of Getting Even and, more recently, the first official single from this collection, There Goes Our Love Again.

Based around the story of a couple moving to a city, ‘Big TV’ launches into its title track from the off and it’s an excellent start. Harry McVeigh’s distinctive baritone battles with moody synths and electric guitar chords, with Visage’s Fade To Grey a noticeable influence before an anthemic chorus blasts the track into retro-heaven with its repeated cry: “Cos I’m living in a room downtown with a bed and a big TV”.

There Goes My Love Again is another highlight – the repetitive “I didn’t go far and I came home” chorus nestling in the memory cells with ease - with more accompanying synths and squalling guitars giving the track a shimmering, shoegazey feel.  The first of two rather unnecessary musical interludes then precedes First Time Caller, which takes the pace down a notch or two but not the quality. Built around echoey keyboards and another strong chorus, with piercing electric guitar, the track is clearly another potential single.

The bass-heavy Mother Tongue then benefits from stabbing guitar contributions before the chorus soars alongside another ‘80s backdrop, while the synth foundations continue with the blistering Getting Even, a slow-paced grower that still delivers the customary stadium-filling chorus.

Gentle piano opens Change and the track takes a break from the full-on anthemic template, with swirling, atmospheric synths joining the sparse piano as McVeigh’s vocal takes centre stage.  Be Your Man returns to a more up-tempo beat, sounding like the Editors teaming up with the Bravery, and it’s another decent number although perhaps lacking in distinctive qualities despite McVeigh’s shot at a soaring chorus.

Space ii is the second rather meaningless ‘musical interlude’ and leads the way into Tricky To Love, which unfortunately boasts another of the weaker choruses on the album.  Penultimate track Heaven Wait is an atmospheric slow-burner that doesn’t repeat the mistake, the chorus this time accompanied by a militaristic drum pattern, while Goldmine is an upbeat closer that falls just short of the standard set by the record’s best moments.

The title track is undoubtedly the strongest on this collection and while  there are other highlights to be found, there is a gradual decline in quality as things progress. A different track order may have helped, but ultimately the songwriting is occasionally lost among the sheen.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

Related News

White Lies Add Second Dublin Date To Spring UK And Ireland Tour
Wed 07 Nov 2018
White Lies have added a second Dublin date to their spring UK and Ireland tour.
White Lies Unveil New Track Believe It
Wed 24 Oct 2018
White Lies have unveiled a new track called Believe It.
White Lies Announce New LP 'Five' And Accompanying UK Tour and Ticket Details
Mon 17 Sep 2018
Photo: Steve Gullick White Lies have announced their new album and an accompanying UK tour.
Muse Confirm Summer UK Stadium Shows For Simulation Theory World Tour - Tickets On Sale November 16
Mon 05 Nov 2018
Muse have lined up some huge shows for summer 2019.
Paul Carrack Adds Second Birmingham Date To Tour Plans
Fri 02 Nov 2018
Paul Carrack has announced a second show at Birmingham's Symphony Hall.
Dream Theater Announce New Album 'Distance Over Time' And Spring North American Tour
Wed 07 Nov 2018
Dream Theater will release a new album early next year.
Smashing Pumpkins Share Spooky Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts) Video Prior To London Arena Show
Mon 15 Oct 2018
Smashing Pumpkins have released a video for Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts).
Toy To Follow Release Of New Album 'Happy In The Hollow' With February UK And Ireland Tour
Thu 25 Oct 2018
Toy have announced a new album and accompanying tour.
< Prev   Next >