Album Reviews, Indie / Alternative — August 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

REVIEW: White Lies – BIG TV

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White_Lies_Big_TV_cover

Artist Name: White Lies
Title Name: BIG TV
Label: Polydor Records
Reviewed by: Jarrod Macartney

8.0

 

Prior to listening to White Lies’ latest LP, BIG TV, take a look around at the sight and sounds of present day before you suddenly get swept away to the eighties by the London trio. White Lies have stayed true to their 1980s inspired synthy/post-punk sound for each of their three releases, and most importantly have certainly steered clear of any tackiness that could have dwelled from that time.

Harry McVeigh’s deep vocals echo through the creepy darkness of the album’s opener and title track “Big TV”. The tune turns less sci-fi and more to the roots of 2009’s Farewell To The Fairground as it dives deeper into the track. The energy levels rise with the catchy and upbeat “There Goes Our Love Again” but take a step back down for “First Time Caller” which delivers an orchestral influence behind the synthesizers.

As we approach track six, the album hasn’t done anything wrong, but neither has it gained the same excitement of bringing home a brand new 60” television and using it for the very first time (after finally working out how these new batch of Smart televisions work). This is all until the synth rock masterpiece “Getting Even” delivers the album’s biggest sound. The track ticks all of boxes on the indie rock anthem criteria list and brings everlasting energy to the rest of the album (as well as everlasting energy to my gym workouts!).

The lyrics “I’m going to miss the way I missed you” open up the beautiful ballad, “Change” that features some of the deepest songwriting yet from the Englishmen .Though it comes a little too early in the track listing and puts a damper on the intensity that the previous track brought to BIG TV. The timing may not be right, but it certainly does not affect how good this track actually is, the muffled piano and McVeigh’s authentic and heartfelt vocals form the perfect pair.

BIG TV trumps Ritual in its songwriting and goes toe-to-toe with the band’s debut effort, though their latest studio release is much more emotive than anything prior. The album gives nods to both eighties and modern day acts like The CureThe Killers and A-ha. The amount of reverb within BIG TV may be too much for some, but this shouldn’t be news to anyone who has experienced the White Lies before.

The three-piece have achieved a lot with this record and created a consistent record from start to end while producing a handful of songs that have already confirmed their spot on a “Best Of” release (“Getting Even”, “There Goes The Love Again”, “Big TV”). The BIG TV works great and after it is all set up, all we need is a BIG VCR to play taped re-runs of American sitcom The Facts Of Life and our official copy of comedy drama The Breakfast Club on VHS.

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