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the first time I heard white lies, it was the track 'Death' on tv adverts/soundtracks. i then heard 'farewell to the fairground' on the radio when they released the single. i was impressed by the catchy melody and daunting vocals. the song had a great feel about it. so, i got this album. i was pleasantly surprised to find that i liked every single track. white lies show a fantastic story telling ability, in tracks like 'from the stars' and 'fifty in our foreheads' whilst maintaining sing along melodies and catchy guitar riffs. this might make them seem like arctic monkeys, but the sound itself is nothing alike. white lies are much... darker and electric. a mix of editors, the smiths... and i'm struggling to think of more because they have produced a relatively unique sound in this album. i'd recommend this album to anybody who is a general music fan. although its not the same sound of artists i'd normally be listening to it's still very good. you'll have learnt all the lyrics within a couple of days and the songs will be on repeat on your ipod and mind! really worth a listen. expected great things from them in the future but unfortunately 'ritual' has been a massive disappointment. make the most of this album!!
White Lies are a really good band that first hit the scene back in 2009. I really liked there first few releases so I bought the album. The band has three members and is fronted by vocalist Harry Mcviegh. The band was said to be 'one to watch' at the start of 2009. So he is what I think of there dubut album. The title of which is - To Loose My Life.
1. Death - A brilliant start to the album. This is my favorite song on the album, its has a great intro which really shows what this band is capable of. I love the words and think they fit the tune perfectly. 5/5
2. To Loose My Life - The big hit from the album and the title track. This is another stunner, powerful lyrics and a catchy tune. A really strong song that will stick in your head for weeks! 5/5
3. A Place To Hide - This is another decent song, but it does not pack the puch of the first two. So good lyrics again but there is just something lacking and it never really reaches the heights it threatens to. 3/5
4. Fifty On Our Foreheads - This song is quite a bit slower. It really does not suit the band in my opinion. It just feels a little dreary and has few redeeming features. Not a classic. 2/5
5. Unfinished Business - If the last one was dreary this one starts off positively dier! It does pick up a little but its another poor song for me. 2/5
6. E.S.T - Quite a moody song. I don't mind this one to much, the words are quite powerful and emotive. Its another slower song that gradually picks up pace as it moves along. 3/5
7. From The Stars - Again there is nothing really to this song. It is depressing, the words the tune, its jsut lacks any spark. 2/5
8. Fairwell To The Fairground - Another one they released and a very good song. A good tune and a really catchy chorus that sticks in your head. Again some clever lyrics I like. This is a vast improvement of the previous few songs. 4/5
9. Nothing To Give - Another slower one. It tries to build up into something big and spectacular but really it just falls flat on its face. I think the band really need to stick to what they are good at instead of trying these weird slow songs. 2/5
10. The Price Of Love - The band need a strong finish to the album. They don't deliver. It just sounds the same as the other slower songs, nothing really to it and quite boring. Even though it does pick up pace it really does not deliver anything exciting or worth listening to. 2/5
So that's it. Just ten songs so its quite a short album. I have to say I was really disapointed with this album. I love the three songs they released, but other than that there is nothing on the album of any note. It quite poor and quite repetitive. Not a great album, but at least they have showed they have the ability to create a few really good songs.
Anyway maybe you should give this a listen and see what you think. Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I expect most people will not enjoy this as much as maybe they were expecting to.
White Lies burst onto the scene and are undoubtedly lodged somewhere in the psyche of most of the British public, with a couple of their tracks having been used on programme trailers. Extremely catchy, White Lies sum up the modern indie perfectly with their fun, lively brand of music, but demonstrating equally that they are more than capable of a more serious, solemn side.
The lead singer's voice is extremely distinctive and versatile, and his performance on stage when I saw him in Sheffield as part of the NME Tour was extremely entertaining! The album constantly finds its way back into my CD player, and is even enjoyed by my girlfriend, who generally hates all things indie!
For balance, I suppose I should look for fault, which can be found at the end of their first album. The final two tracks are extremely dull and lifeless, though in the band's defence this may be merely just an experiment gone horribly wrong. However, by the time the listener has got this far, they are so bowled over by the first 8 tracks that this minor indescretion can be excused!
A fabulous band, I highly recommend the first album. If their second album is anything like their first, then this is a band with a huge future!
This is one of the UK's biggest debut bands at the moment. Having originally been called Fear of Flying. They are a 3 piece alternative rock band originally from West London. White Lies formed back in October 2007 and have gradually grown in stature due to the impressive singles "Unfinished Business" and "Death". So far they have already played major festivals and have been stated by many as to be the band to watch in 2009. My favourite tracks off this album have to be:
(1) Death, their third single released from the album. It starts off slowly and builds up to a roaring finale. The keyboard works really well on this song.
(2) To lose my life, this is the first White Lies song I heard and it's the second single off the album. The chorus will get stuck in your head for days. This is probably their most popular song.
(3) A place to hide, another slow song that builds up. The vocals and lyrics are great. Its not the best single but one of my favourite off the album anyway.
(6) Est, the intro is quite creepy but works well. Whilst being a slower song it's one of my favourites off the album as it's just so unique.
(8) Farewell to the Fairground, probably my favourite song off the album. It's the fourth single released off their album. The lyrics are the best off the album and will probably get stuck in your head. Again the keyboard works really well.
This is a superb debut album and I can only think of a few debuts which are as good as this. If you are a fan of the Editors or Joy Division or just looking for something different then pick this up. Some people may find the songs a bit gloomy but they are great songs. The album is now available for around £5 at most retailers so you'd be mad not to pick up a copy!
If your like me and don't care if an album confronts dark subject matter head on, but instead care if its full of big, catchy, epic anthems that havent been seen in this volume or as well realised since the Killers, then White Lies are for you.
Starting with the slowly building before rushing into the stratosphere "Death", White Lies set out their manefesto, and pretty much keep to the same instantly listenable formula throughout. A few tracks later, "Fifty on our Forehed" changes pace slightly, lowering the BPM. "The Price of Love", the albums closer, see's White Lies become outlandish. And "Nothing to Give" sweeps through your ears lazily. But most have something in common: an ominous ambiance but feeling of grandure, whilst maintaining a fast pace and catchy, if deep, vocal line. White Lies have nailed this sound.
Nine out the ten tracks could so easily be singles on "To Lose My Life..", and this is the only real downside, not enough experimentation, a little to safe and cosy in their sound. But that is for album number two. For now, White Lies have created a listenable, singable and likeable album - if you don't mind a bit of morbidness being thrown around.
Tipped very highly at the start of the year and I must say, they havn't disappoointed one bit. The fantastic opener, Death makes clear that the band is rather on the negative and dark side, followed by To Lose My Life, my don't let this put you off. They made sound depressing, but inside the songs are fresh and actually make you feel happy about yourself. It must be said this is more of a winter album than a summer classic, but at the time of release this was perfect. Although the album lacks variation, it is still really good to listen to and the vocals and the intrusmental playing from the band make the songs fantastic.
The album has similarities with many 80s, and the killers in particular from modern day, but the band still manange to keep their own uniqueness about the songs, and maintain a fresh new image.
Living abroad I've not been the subject of the hype surrounding the White Lies as much as many readers and reviewers here may have been, I'd be lieing though if I said I hadn't witnessed some of the hype - I'd come across it on numerous forums.
The first time I really got to check out the album though was this week, it was the latest installment of my objective to review the latest album of this years Glastonbury acts.
I tend to take critically acclaimed, superlative heavily described albums with a pinch of salt but I have to say that "To Lose My Life" was something I was surprisingly impressed with.
Cynics would say that the band are copycats and don't have their own sound, borrowing heavily from Joy Division, I disagree though and think they've done a good job of continuing a trend and giving it a slightly more modern spin.
It's true that some of the tracks are not as good as the ones on the album that were released as singles but this is the band's debut and there's a good chance they'll improve.
Farewell to the Fairground, Death, Fifty on Our Foreheads and To Lose My Life are all very enjoyable songs, White Lies songs have decent lyrics and are nicely presented through keyboard ladened new wave and rock. Lookwise, the band look a bit straight-laced but soundwise it doesn't really matter and I'd happily recommend people to embrace this fresh album. The material might not be completely original and there are definitely better bands in the country at the moment but perhaps none that have made it so well commercially.
One of the better albums released this year, I may have benefited from not hearing so much about the album - don't believe the hype but believe your ears!
2 To Lose My Life
3 A Place To Hide
4 Fifty On Our Foreheads
5 Unfinished Business
7 From The Stars
8 Farewell To The Fairground
9 Nothing To Give
10 The Price Of Love
At the start of the year (2009) music magazines and websites from across the country and in fact across the world were hyped up about the new coming band from London, White Lies.
Within a few months, they had released their first album, "To Lose My Life...", it went straight to number one in the charts, but is it really all that it was made out to be?
Each song is lyrically very deep, dark and moving. Singing of death, funerals and life in general it is clear to see that the likes of Joy Division have undoubtedly influenced White Lies greatly.
It isn't only the lyrical content that makes the songs so so good to listen to. The distinctive drum beats mixed with powerful guitar overtones make for a great instrumental track which makes you want to bring out the air guitar and sing along.
My personal favourite song on the whole album for the above reasons is "From the Stars", deep, moving and damn right brilliant!
Having finally scraped enough money together to buy a few albums recently, this was one i eagerly anticipated. To Lose My Life.. is the debut album of the English trio White Lies. It is a moody meloncholy consisting of ten songs.
Personally, I believe the first half of the album outshines the latter half. It begins with Death, a wonderfully crafted song with a powerful build up. It is very 'dramatic' with an amazing sound.
The next song on the track list is the successful single release and identical name to the album, To Lose My Life. The vocal range isn't quite shown, or needed for this track, but it possibly the most 'catchy' of the album. It has the least lyrics and seems to be the most mainstream of the lot.
A Place To Hide, is again like much of the album, a dark and moody sounding piece but the lyrics hold a different story. The chorus has a much more uplifting sound to it.
Fifty On Our Foreheads, is a very slow and 'relaxed' sounding song which reminds me of an interlude for the album.
Unfinished Business has a strong musical sound to it, with a great beat. The lyrics are again quite morbid and revolve around death, he sings 'a requiem played as you begged for forgiveness'
E.S.T, again demonstrates the overall dark mood to this album. It does however demonstrate another aspect of the band. Thier strong musical capabilities.
From The Stars is very similiar to the previous couple of songs. I find this track very repetitive and slightly drawn out.
My favorite song on the latter half of the album would be Farewell To The Fairground. It is a catchy song, which is surprising considering the lyrics consist of 'These rides aren't working any more, goodbye to this dead town.'
The last two tracks on the album, Nothing To Give and The Price Of Love, are both quite slow. Nothing To Give is quite depressing and tells of regrets in life and wishing there were none.
I rated the album 4 stars, but would lean more towards 3.5/5
Starting your album with a track called death seems a little brave, and following it with 'to lose my life' might in fact make you think you're about to spend a short period of your life listening to some manic depressives articulate themselves in the way only manic depressives can! However 'Death' is a great track to start off the album and is rightly being re-released as the next single in follow up to Farewell to the Fairground. There is that slight eighties twang to White lies, and a definite tip of the hat to the Editors along the way, with deep meaningful vocals over a mixture of upbeat tracks with darker undertones and the odd slower track thrown in for good measure, however they never delve the depths the Editors are prepared to go to, and some might be pleased to hear that, as it makes for an album that leaves you feeling intrigued, energised, but definitely wanting to hear more!
West London three piece White Lies have been called "the hottest new band in England" and they were certainly very good when I saw them live during the NME Tour in February alongside Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires and Glasvegas who were described as "the best new band in Britain" by the aforementioned music paper.
White Lies have been classed as "nu gloom" by that paper again and their music has been compared to Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Cure. So does their debut album live up to its hype? No it doesn't I'm afraid. Don't get me wrong, all four singles are really good including the latest one, Farewell To The Fairground which has got a really catchy chorus. "Farewell to the fairground, these rides ain't working anymore" etc.
But comparing their lead singer Harry McVeigh to legends like the two Ians, Curtis and McCulloch is a bit like comparing Ray Quinn to Frank Sinatra. McVeigh and co. will have to improve a lot if they ever want to have the longevity and influence of Joy Division and the Bunnymen. In fact McVeigh has more in common vocally with McCulloch's former friend Julian Cope which isn't a bad thing at all.
Most of the other six tracks on To Lose My Life plod along. From The Stars is particularly slow in tempo. " I saw a friend I once knew at a funeral. He took the time out to be seen" sings McVeigh.
During one of the album's better tracks (A Place To Hide) McVeigh sings the line, "And I'd be laughing at the end of the world. But take my hand tonight, I think we'll be alright girl". Quite an uplifting line and according to bass player and chief songwriter Charles Cave the band are "not depressed people" and their lyrics are "introspective".
One of the biggest problems I have with White Lies and Editors especially is that they don't sound like they mean it. They haven't got their own identity. They just sound like copycats. However New York's finest Interpol do the gloom rock thing much better and have got their own sound. In a way they've brought the gloom rock sound up to date.
To sum it up then To Lose My Life is a fairly average debut album. Obviously a lot of people believed the hype because it shot straight to the top of the album charts but it's far from a classic.
It's that time of year again. The NME has jumped up the ass of its latest "it band" thus already handing out the title of "band of 2009". Who's the lucky collective this time around? Why it's none other than the supposedly darkly depressing, post punk outfit White Lies. I'm not one to take the NME very seriously, so is this just another one of those bands we can lump into the category of all hype and no substance? Or is this one of those debut albums that deserves all the buzz that's surrounding it? I decided to invest some of my precious time in finding out the aforementioned conundrum. White Lies (Formally known as Fear of Flying) hail from Ealing, West London. The band consists of Harry McVeigh on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Charles Cave on Bass and Jack Lawrence-Brown on drums. Under their former moniker, they garnered much attention, but after deciding to take their music into a darker direction, a name change was inevitable, thus White Lies was born.
With track titles such as "Death" and "To lose my life" it's no wonder the debut from this rather audacious trio has already acquired the tag of dark and miserable, but in a way Ian Curtis would be proud of. With a single listen of this album, the influences are clear. Classic bands of era's past prove to still be relevant in this day and age. If you listen closely you can hear echoes of Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Cure to name but a few. Not only that, but White Lies seem to share similarities to modern contemporaries such as Editors and Interpol who also seem to have been inspired by the abovementioned acts. One can only assume that bringing back 80's synth pop is a tried and tested formula and to an extent that is the case, but I'm always up for new takes on tried and tested ideas.
The album opens with "Death", a well-received single. For a band that seems to have already graduated from the Joy Division school of gloom this song hardly emphasises any darkness considering it's upbeat tone. Before I heard this track I was led to believe how depressing and dark this band is but this track doesn't seem to make me want to slit my wrists, quite the opposite in fact. Its upbeat and catchy, the ideal album opener but maybe not what the listener was expecting. A good track nonetheless.
The next track definitely follows the same route as the previous song. "To Lose My Life" is a definite nod to the 80's with those throbbing bass lines and shrill vocals Simon Le Bon would be proud of. This song is quite popular with the scene kids at my local indie club, which leads me to wonder if this is the direction the band wanted to take their music into? Regardless, the general sound of the song is definitely a lot more pleasant than some of the other songs.
"A Place To Hide" has an eccentric bass line pounding throughout the song. It opens in quite a mysterious manner, it sounds somewhat reminiscent of drum and bass which I go out of my way to avoid, however once the song gets started the signature synth is introduced, and to be quite honest, so far I'm not overly impressed with what I've heard so far. Once the first verse gets going thankfully the synth is put on hold and McVeigh's vocals have been taken into a much deeper direction, which goes perfectly with the rough sounding bass line. Honestly though, there is nothing really outstanding about this song, it just plods along and is not overly memorable.
The next song opens with a repetitive drumbeat. "Fifty On Our Foreheads" is the perfect example of the dejected vibe we've been hearing so much about. Everything seems to be taken down a notch and it works incredibly well. McVeigh's voice isn't as piercing as it is on other tracks until the chorus kicks in. The synthesiser isn't as overused either, but is still effortlessly effective.
The next track is quite a poor track in my opinion. "Unfinished Business" could have been so much more with the makings of an anthem with those delicious riffs, but I'm not sure what this song is meant to be. The organ and McVeigh's wailing can grate at times and clashes very heavily with the impressive rock influences that stand out on this track.
"E.S.T" feels like it wouldn't be out of place on "Disintegration" by The Cure. This is where the album gets interesting. It appeals to my sullen, tortured, pretentious soul. The repetitive synth guitar pieced together with the dark drumbeats makes one of the albums highlights for me. It starts out mysteriously, at first I imagined this to be produced in the same vein as "The Price Of Love" or "Nothing To Give" which could be classed as the albums slower tracks, however "E.S.T" seems to meet half way between the albums catchier and slower songs.
"From The Stars" is a song that I'm not entirely sure what to make of. It takes a minute to get going and the intro seems unnecessarily drawn out, but once everything sets in, it's an impressive track. The violins add a bit of a unique touch to the song but at times they feel a bit out of place. This song has quite a few layers to it, which only adds to its appeal.
The next track finally picks up things up. "Farewell To The Fairground" was produced in true 80's fashion. It gets going instantly, without any dull intros. This song has been pieced together much more impressively than some of the other tracks. The synthesiser is executed far more effectively and gels perfectly with the well-timed drumbeats. This is, for me, one of the standout tracks.
"Nothing To Give" is a song that highlights McVeigh's powerful vocals. It's quite a dreamy song that really mainly focuses on the vocals rather than a flurry of instruments. Having said that, the song does get repetitive at times. At some points I do feel that McVeigh could do with toning it down a bit as the subdued tone sometimes clashes with his piercing vocals. The drumbeat that is eventually introduced toward the end of the song brings a major improvement, and makes me wonder if the whole song could have done with it.
The album ends appropriately with "The Price Of Love". A rather depressing tune. It's gloomy and miserable with a repetitive thudding drumbeat playing throughout the song. This song is quite simple compared to the others, there's not a lot going on which only helps the band to project their "dark and depressing" tag. The vocal arrangement also shares a few similarities to "Death" but in a less cheerful way. This song in my opinion isn't a stand out track, the lyrics don't particularly do anything for me, and it is at times quite repetitive.
Harry McVeigh's poignant vocals certainly make an impression. Somehow the listener is made to feel as though it's a pleasantry to hear a man sing passionately whilst wallowing in his own despondency. However at times, I do start to feel McVeigh's voice begins to grate on me. After many listens I came to the conclusion that "To lose my life" is a well put together album, but not to the epic proportions we were made to believe. It's good, don't get me wrong, but the originality is lacking. I'm a fool for anything modern that's given the 80's treatment so impressed I was, but breaking boundaries is nothing something White Lies have achieved. Another complaint that I have is in regards to the polished sound, which is prevalent throughout the album. Why the need to produce this album to perfection is beyond me. A slightly raw edge would have meshed perfectly with the albums themes, but the cleaner sound gives the album a slightly more buoyant touch, which at times can clash and unintentionally give the album an upbeat feel. Personally I think this move, intentional or not will help the album appeal to the masses.
Another thing I am failing to understand is how White Lies have been hailed as lyrical geniuses. Comparisons to the likes of Ian Curtis and Steven Patrick Morrissey are simply embarrassing. Some of the lyrics in my humble opinion are somewhat amateurish and the band seems to make morbid references every two seconds, which only reiterates the bands need to be hailed as the new Joy Division. I've been lucky enough to see these guys live and I can honestly say they're one of the more impressive live acts around today. Comparing them to their music doppelgangers Interpol and The Killers, I would say they've got a much better stage presence and the notable live shows have only worked in their favour. Word of mouth has ensured good turnouts for their shows.
In truth I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but that can be blamed on the insane amount of hype that surrounded this band months before the album even graced us with its presence. I find bands that have this much hype surrounding them can only disappoint and in my humble opinion White Lies didn't really live up to the hype. It's hard for bands to live up to the likes of the legendary bands they've been compared to, but I don't think White Lies have earned the buzz they've been credited with. I've had this album for several months now, but no longer feel the urge to listen to it. The initial novelty wore off, and pretty quickly. "To Lose My Life" is a pleasant enough listen, a few good catchy hooks to sink your teeth into, but other than that, it's really nothing new. If you like post punk collectives with a proclivity to paying homage to the greats of the 80's, look no further, you might have found your band of the moment. Only time will tell whether White Lies will fade into obscurity, but if their next album delivers they're probably headed for big things.
2. To Lose My Life
3. A Place To Hide
4. Fifty On Our Foreheads
5. Unfinished Business
7. From The Stars
8. Farewell To The Fairground
9. Nothing To Give
10. The Price Of Love
Brand new on to the indie playing field is White Lies, fresh with their new single 'To Lose My Life' with the album of the same released 19th January.
I've given this album just one spin on iTunes and thought it best to review it straight up as i'm listening to it properly for the first time to give my initial, gut feelings on songs.
1. Death - what a cheery introductory song title. This song screams Editors to me immediatley, a catchy song that seems very symbol driven with echoing vocals that seem to come from all around you. The introduction of the piano and violin part way through gives this song a good sense of variation and solid grounding for the rest of the album.
2. To Loose My Life - for some reason this song gives me hints of a slight Interpol undertone to the band. Dark, very dramatic and precise sounding vocals build to an emotional chorus. Warning this song is infectious and will get stuck in your head.
3. A Place To Hide - starting as if its being played in a hall, live building into a polished studio sound. A really unusual way to start a song, Morrissey-esque morose vocals build to another emotional chorus with an equally packed chorus as the last.
4. Fifty On Our Foreheads - a drums driven introduction this song is very much a more acoustic sounding song than the others so far and serves as a nice, much more relaxing interlude whilst still having a well worded powerful chorus.
5. Unfinished Business - organ music begins this song, another very different touch shows the sheer depth of this bands musical knowledge and that they know how and when to use an instrument.
6. E.S.T - an incredibly dark introduction sits behind even darker lyrics. Quite an intergalactic sounding song.
7. From The Stars - the use of string instruments around mid way really helps this song to stand out above the rest of the album so far. Still with the powerful vocals and varied instruments another great song.
8. Farewell To The Fairground - elements of Franz Ferdinand creeping in here, a repetitive catchy beat, guitar driven.
9. Nothing To Give - another dark melancholic introduction building to the chorus that really shows of the vocal talent of this group.
10. The Price Of Love - a very theatrical song which at points would fit beautifully into a movie, once again optimising the use of string instruments to give fantastic variation throughout the song.
--- Overall ---
Firstly let me apologise for seemingly trying to find bands that White Lies are like, throughout listening to this album but it's what is done generally and what is great is that this band is everything and nothing like other bands.
Yes it has some catchy beats that have similarities to Editors and Franz Ferdinand but the use of string instruments combined with some heavy drum beats and strong guitar riffs really shows a stunning sense of variety to this album.
Every song sounds like the last at points due to the fairly fixed vocal styles of the songs however musically every song is different, this band is going to go far with this album. Take my word for it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 To Lose My Life
3 A Place To Hide
4 Fifty On Our Foreheads
5 Unfinished Business
7 From The Stars
8 Farewell To The Fairground
9 Nothing To Give
10 The Price Of Love