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To Lose My Life... by White Lies

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Reviewed on 22nd January 2009.


To Lose My Life...

By White Lies

I remember the summer of 2006; the likes of Lily Allen and The Kooks were making happy music about good times. Upbeat indie-pop was as rife as a horde of teenage bands assaulting the charts. These days, it's a bit of a different story. Recession calls for bands to create doom laden albums, full of emotion. Audiences need to feel like people care.

From the opening of 'Death,' White Lies prove all their critics right. The dark opening of their debut album 'To Lose My Life...' reveals the huge debt this London four-piece's sound owes to the likes of Joy Division and Editors. However, the album is a hugely impressive record, full of murky, gloomy, bass driven verses and epic choruses. Not only do White Lies have a fantastic sound musically, singer Harry McVeigh showcases an aptitude for writing excellently depressing lyrics, supported by his superb voice.

However, herein lies the issue. Despite the band presenting an album of ten highly polished, musically excellent tracks, it's hard to gain a sense of real emotion. They aren't as moving as they wish they were. The same could be said about McVeigh's delivery of the lyrics; despite the lyrics being excellent in places, and his vocal abilities being impressive, it doesn't feel like he's really pouring his heart into them. The whole album conveys the feeling that the band are just creating a gloomy, death obsessed indie record because they can, and it will fit the times, not because it's how they actually feel.

As I said, it is a musically excellent album, containing many highlights than really can grab you (the end of 'The Price Of Love,' or chorus of 'Fifty On Our Foreheads,') the album doesn't grab your heart, in the way other recent examples have. Listening to Glasvegas' debut, James Allen pours his soul into many of the tracks, whereas on 'To Lose My Life...' McVeigh sounds like he is describing rather than feeling. It just doesn't make me want to sing my heart out in the way I wish it would.

Best tracks:
Fifty On Our Foreheads
Unfinished Business
The Price Of Love



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