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Album Review: Friends by White Lies

London post-punk act White Lies released their fourth album Friends via Infectious Music on 7th October. 9 years into their career and you’ll find White Lies comfortable in their sound, boundaries aren’t broken and they’ve stuck to a rigid formula, but why break what isn’t broken?

For some bands keeping to a core sound can lead to a stagnant sound, but with White Lies they do it with such aplomb that it’s still as captivating and as exciting as when To Lose My Life was released in 2009. Perhaps one slight difference in Friends is that there isn’t one big song. Each of White Lies’ previous released contained 3 or 4 big radio friendly hit singles – big choruses, big sing along moments. Here there’s more of a consistent approach, every song comes in on note and while they growers the album develops into an essential listen.

Whilst being unmistakably White Lies, the sound doesn’t go straight for the jugular. It’s a little subtler and less reliant on the big hooks. The 80’s influences are ramped up a gear too, you can’t help but think of Tears For Fears on multiple occasions – that throbbing bassline intro ‘Take It Out On Me’ and the keyboard work in ‘Morning in LA’ are early prime examples.

While there may not be the big standout moments of predecessor Big TV (2013) from an early stage you get the impression that this is big more special. It’s the consistent high quality of all 10 tracks that does it – the whole thing just oozes quality. From the more immediate moments like ‘Don’t Want To Feel It All’ through to the more laidback ‘Swing’ everything works perfectly. It feels unfair to single out specific tracks as Friends has the flows and feel of a well-structured album nailed on. Our advice would be just to listen to it as a whole, get lost in the dark post-punk, smile and enjoy it for the wonderful album it is.

AD Rating 8/10

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