White Lies
To Lose My Life


3.5
great

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (130 Reviews)
January 19th, 2009 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very promising debut, solid foundations from which White Lies can become bigger and better.

Around this time every year, pretty much all music publications are largely taken up by pages on up-and-coming bands they think will make it big in the coming year, the “Ones To Watch”. As is always the case with this kind of thing, some succeed and some don’t. Sometimes, the real stars of the approaching year are not even mentioned, such is the pace of their rise to stardom. This year, one name that has often come up is White Lies, a trio from London, who may be familiar to fans of the UK indie scene, albeit under a different name. The band originally formed at school, going under the name Fear Of Flying, playing quirky indie pop and releasing a couple of singles. They themselves were one of the up-and-coming bands a few years ago, but decided to change their musical direction along with their name. They now go under the name White Lies, and play noticeably more downbeat and mature music that would have sounded out of place coming from their previous incarnation. On the evidence of their debut album, To Lose My Life this should prove to be a good career move.

If you don’t already know what to expect, then the name of the first song, Death should provide some clues. This opener was released as a single, and is a terrific way to begin the album. Initially only comprising of simple mid-paced verses and choruses, the song eventually builds before, exploding into a huge wall of beefy guitars and synths. It takes a while to get there, but when the song comes to life in the final two minutes it is well worth the wait. The title track is just as good, again built around simple verses driven by an excellent bassline, before unleashing a chorus far more immediate than that of the previous track. Lyrically, these two songs along with much of the rest of the album deal with fears of death and morality, something that apparently plays a huge part in lyricist Charles Cave's thoughts. Although this can make themes predictable and tiring at times, it can also pay off wonderfully. The chorus of the title track, Lets grow old together/And die at the same time is particularly likely to stick in your head after just one listen, something that cannot be said for the throwaway indie pop of Fear Of Flying.

These first two songs display everything that makes White Lies what they are. Very audible, driving bass lines, basic yet effective drums, icy synths and most noticeably the calm, steady sounding voice of vocalist Harry McVeigh. McVeigh’s vocals in particular have drawn many inevitable comparisons with Ian Curtis due to his deep, haunting voice. The nature of the music may also be behind these claims, but the band whom White Lies bear the closest resemblance to are The Killers. Whilst McVeigh’s vocals initially sound Curtis-like, closer inspection reveals them to be far more similar to those of Brandon Flowers. The music too bears a lot of characteristics The Killers are known for, catchy, synth driven indie rock with infectious choruses and a tense atmosphere. This is not to say that White Lies are merely a Killers rip off band though, they are far more than that. In fact, Death and the title track are easily as good as if not better than anything from Day & Age.

Unfortunately, White Lies cannot maintain the quality of the first two songs throughout the rest of the album, though this should not be particularly surprising given the quality of those tracks. That is not to say that the rest is bad however, it is far from that. A Place To Hide has signs of all the previously mentioned influences, though never strays too close to any, ensuring that the song remains thoroughly enjoyable. Unfinished Business, another single is solid enough, whilst The Price Of Love proves a successful way to end the album. Probably the best of the remaining tracks is the relatively upbeat Farewell To The Fairground, which will surely be one of the contenders for the next single, as it is one of the more catchy and accessible songs on offer. Whilst songs such as From The Stars are less noteworthy, there isn’t a poor song on To Lose My Life, suggesting that the preferred formula clearly works. There aren’t too many moments of brilliance, but the consistency they have found here is a solid platform to build upon.

Despite having a few flaws, To Lose My Life is an impressive debut album from White Lies. They may not have the most original sound ever put to record, but they do nevertheless pull it off far more convincingly than many that have come before them. Although they couldn’t spread it throughout the album, the first two tracks alone show that the band has massive potential. Maybe not enough to fill arenas as some have predicted, but certainly enough to promise bigger and better things lie ahead.

Recommended Tracks
Death
To Lose My Life
Farewell To The Fairground
The Price Of Love
Unfinished Business



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user ratings (168)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
robin EMERITUS (3)
Close to catchy, but could be bigger yet....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
January 19th 2009


7353 Comments


Impressive review, these guys sound like they are worth a listen or two.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2009


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the pos. They are definitely worth a listen if you like any of the bands mentioned. Death and To Lose My Life are certainly worth downloading.

lunchforthesky
January 19th 2009


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Lyrics are terrible. Music is bland.

padraig18
January 22nd 2009


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A very impressive debut given their age. The singles are a bit better than the rest and I don't think the lyrics are that bad.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 22nd 2009


10195 Comments


lol at giving this a 5.

some people...some people.

Nagrarok
February 12th 2009


8246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounds like something I will like. Great review. I pos'd.

gaslightanthem
February 12th 2009


5209 Comments


what boring generic 'hey we ripped off a lot of other bands' kinda music

Nagrarok
February 12th 2009


8246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Opinions seem to vary, so I'll give this a listen before making up my mind.

Nagrarok
February 12th 2009


8246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Your review made it seem promising, but I find it boring. The music is nothing special and I find the vocalist slightly annoying. No need listening to this again.

gaslightanthem
February 12th 2009


5209 Comments


i told u right

Nagrarok
February 12th 2009


8246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Right u were.

foreverendeared
May 13th 2009


14678 Comments


catchy as fuck

rotterdog
May 18th 2009


488 Comments


"To Lose My Life" reminds me of the Bravery. That's not a good thing.

gaslightanthem
May 18th 2009


5209 Comments


album is eww

bloc
May 18th 2009


34852 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

really love the title track, pretty much my only fav song on the record.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

JWT155
October 10th 2010


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm such a sucker for stuff like this.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

bloc
October 10th 2010


34852 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Title track was one of my favourite songs of 2009

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2010


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Death is the only song from this that I still listen to regularly

JWT155
October 10th 2010


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First 3 songs are all fantastic, loses steam after that.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2010


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They've got a new one due in January, so I'll probably revisit this soon.



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