White Lies: Big TV
White Lies occupies that satisfying space between retro and modern, with nostalgic synth and modern hooks. Fans of Interpol and The Killers will find much to like with this album, as Big TV is their most confident release to date.
White Lies’ particular talent lies in making catchy, danceable songs that sound massive even with relatively few components. Compared to the band’s previous output, Big TV is more melodic, which makes the album hang together as a whole much more nicely. “There Goes Our Love Again,” for instance, opens with a memorable riff reminiscent of Flock of Seagulls, and by the time the chorus is belted out, it’s difficult to sit still. Brief musical interludes “Space I” and “Space II” help to pace the album, providing a bit of down time to anticipate the next big sound.
Lyrically, the songs follow the story of a particular couple moving to an urban area and struggling for balance. A song like “Change” is stripped back instrumentally to highlight the longing lyrics: “If you need to find yourself in the arms of someone else, I wish you on your way/But my love I’ve never been too good a change.”
However, even when the lyrics explore conflict, the music is uplifting. The band often garners comparisons to Joy Division due to singer Harry McVeigh’s voice and the group’s somewhat vintage sound, but White Lies belong firmly in the post-punk indie scene that has thrived in England through the last decade or so. Big TV is a mature album with a story, but it also hits the right notes for mindless pleasure.