Friday, August 23, 2013

Big TV | White Lies

Big TV is the latest release from indie band White Lies, who I discovered a couple years ago with their lovely album Ritual. While White Lies haven't changed their sound between albums, they aren't boring. They still strike me with their ability to continually make good music, for while not every song on Big TV is a perfect diamond, each song has its own sparkle.

I was immediately excited when I first listened to this album; the first two songs are a couple of my favorites. The album opens with the title track, which begins with a faint (though ascending) string line as Harry McVeigh's lush voice cascades above it. Guitars enter during the chorus and catchy synths are added in the second verse. Throughout its entirety, "Big TV" is filled with interesting lyrics and keeps my attention. A great song in all aspects.

The following song, "There Goes Our Love Again," is the album's first single, and a great single choice at that. It's just completely irresistible! I don't see how anyone can not love it! It's upbeat and danceable, but still meaningful. Even though the chorus is really repetitive, it's just so addictive.

Big TV includes two instrumental interludes, "Space I" and "Space II," of which I preferred "Space II." Both are lullaby-like, and I can definitely understand why they're called "Space." The dreamy, pretty mystique amid the ambience of notes captures the concept very well, and the same can be said about "Change," perhaps even more so (musically). It's the album's ballad, telling a tale of broken love very openly; the lyrics don't try to hide anything. The piano part is just gorgeous, and the added synths and strings help make it all the more beautiful.

"Getting Even" is another relatively fabulous track. (Did I just say "relatively fabulous"?) This one instantly reminded me of Depeche Mode, and this certainly isn't the first time I've compared White Lies to them. It has such a cool intro with chugging guitars and a memorable string line. But what captured me most was the vocal line and lyrics of the verses.

Even though White Lies isn't exactly the world's bubbliest band, there were some opportunities for this album to get corny, particularly with the chorus of "First Time Caller." Ultimately, I found it cute lyrically, but it does have a serious edge (for example: "I want you to love me more than I love you"). And let's face it, it takes a some talent to create such awesome lyrics to a song titled "Be Your Man." Both songs were enjoyable.

But some of the other tracks on Big TV were very likeable, though not necessarily enough for me to get into as much as I did with the tracks I previously mentioned. Don't think they're no good or too generic, because they're not. (That's the beauty of White Lies; one can never say anything completely negative about them.) "Heaven Wait" is a prime example. It's a dark song, and it's technically pretty and brings some nostalgia, but it doesn't have much of a wow factor.

"Tricky to Love," a suave mid-tempo track, and (for now) "Goldmine," the final song on Big TV, also fall into this mediocre category. Still, I must say that "Goldmine" does a sufficient job at wrapping up the album's theme, and I think it will grow on me with time. But overall, the only song I don't care for much at all is "Mother Tongue."

So, Big TV turned out to be a decent album. Once again, I can't find too much to complain about; White Lies is a special band that makes music that can be universally enjoyed. I must say that this album had a bit more of a mediocre feel than Ritual, but as I continue to stress, it's hard to find anything wrong with White Lies' music. Hence, Big TV is a pleasant album. It can be subtle, not filled with masterpieces, but never anything wretched or even dull. There are moments that seem out of this world, but there are also some so down to Earth. Sometimes, a listener will find his/herself in both places at the same time.

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