Album: White Lies, Big TV (Fiction)
Saturday 10 August 2013
Like one of Alan Partridge's chemically enhanced chickens, thinking "Why am I so massive?", White Lies were bred for bigness. Following a Number One debut album (2009's To Lose My Life …) and a Number Three follow-up (2011's Ritual), the Ealing band's third album is as epic in scale as either of its predecessors.
Big TV is reminiscent both of the White Pyjama Music of the early 1980s (Fiction Factory, China Crisis) and the portentous Big Music of the later 1980s (Tears For Fears, Simple Minds). It's as if producer Ed Buller pressed the reverb button on singer/guitarist Harry McVeigh's vocal channel on day one of recording and never unpressed it.
This kind of thing can be a soul-sapping experience (hello Editors), but White Lies have just enough elegance and intrigue beneath the bluster to carry it off.
Lines about "holding up the jaw of desire" and "spilt bottles in shopping aisles" suggest more life-of-the-mind than is usual in the genre. The shuddering synthpop of "Getting Even" is the high point, and only rarely, as on "Tricky to Love", does the trio's calculated hugeness really start to taste like an infected spinal column in a bap.
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show