White Lies - Big TV
White Lies appear on the ascendent. From their days sub-headlining the NME Awards Tour in 2009 shortly prior to the release of their debut album, to headlining Wembley Arena on the back of 2011’s Ritual, it's been a steady - if not headline-grabbing - rise for the West London trio. With a main stage slot at the Reading and Leeds festivals and a huge European tour later this year in the offing, Big TV will likely cement their position, or indeed, allow them to make that leap to genuine cover stars.
Returning to the same studios with the same producer (Ed Buller) as the critically acclaimed To Lose My Life, it's tempting to wonder if they’re attempting to recapture some of the magic that gave them their initial jump start into the indie world. Nevertheless, if it isn't broken, why try and fix it? Opening with the suitably atmospheric title track, the album begins to weave its spell on hitting the single ‘There Goes Our Love Again’, a huge stomper that remembers to bring with it a solid chorus.
The first of two - rather superfluous - interludes follow, though ‘First Time Caller’ saves the day. Possibly the best track White Lies have written to date, both it and ‘Mother Tongue’ scream potential singles with their melding of driving Killers-style anthemics and edgy Joy Division sensibilities. Free download ‘Getting Even’ builds to a suitably epic guitar-filled climax, with Harry McVeigh’s emotionally charged vocals that will leave the listener yearning for more. ‘Change’ is a chance for McVeigh to show off the potential of his voice with a ballad: “I’m gonna miss the way I miss you / But I’m okay if you’re okay”. Quite the heartbreaker.
‘Be Your Man’ exhibits some more of that Killers flare and will slot nicely into the live set, though it's from here on in the quality begins to suffer. Neither ‘Tricky to Love’ nor ‘Heaven Wait’ sustain earlier triumphs, with closer ‘Goldmine’ just about pulling the album back up to a somewhat satisfying conclusion.
Aside from the slight drift towards album end, White Lies have made it three-from-three. They may not have quite the critical cache of some of their peers, but patience and an understanding of what their audience wants suggest Big TV will be echoing around the corridors of many a student halls of residence this coming term.