Artist: White Lies
Title: As I Try Not To Fall Apart
Genre: Post-Punk / Pop-Rock
Release Date: 18th February 2022
Label: [PIAS] Recordings
Here in England, we try, and fail, to be nice to ourselves. We hate Brexit, we hate our government, we hate the weather, we’re not very good at sport, and we like to think back to times when apparently things were better. They weren’t. Thankfully, we have our music, and because we have a firm belief that we don’t deserve anything good, we are very happy to give all of it to you. And so, the ongoing gift that is WHITE LIES.
What began as a Gothic-fairy-tale rise to prominence from seemingly nowhere back in 2007 - wearing black, bass player called Mr Cave, lots of songs about death, that kind of thing - has levelled out into a sophisticated consistency and success. Critically acclaimed albums and tours and never a foot put wrong it has seemed. But there comes a point when this can begin to stale, and WHITE LIES have chosen exactly the right moment to prevent this. New album ‘As I Try Not To Fall Apart’ shakes things up dramatically, and whereas lyrically it deals with many of the dark themes that preoccupy the band, musically it is bold and muscular, yet also at times fragile, unafraid to hurtle off into unexplored corners, or peer into spaces not yet discovered.
Right from the off, it’s clear the band have made a conscious effort to not follow their own conventions. Opening track ‘Am I Really Going To Die’ sounds so NOT like WHITE LIES you have to check you’re playing the right album. Its huge, funky bass (come back! It’s awesome!) and 80s Pop-Rock credentials make this a kind of lost mega-hit from the past, instantly recognizable yet beautifully obscure. They could have stuck a whole brass section on this and it wouldn’t have sounded out of place. The title track tackles the subject of male vulnerability - in itself a brave and laudable move - and it is heart-stoppingly beautiful, poignant and uplifting, all in one dizzying, busy swoosh.
‘Breathe’ sounds wonderfully like early SIMPLE MINDS, whereas ‘I Don’t Want to Go To Mars’ takes the WHITE LIES formula for driven modern Rock and gives it to you straight. ‘Step Outside’ is an apt title as it skips and bounds about like a new-born lamb, ‘Roll December’ veers off into somewhere scuzzy and bluesy, and only ‘Ragworm’ sounds slightly underwhelming. ‘Blue Drift’ gets everything back on track, shaking itself down in a shimmer of power-pop before plunging into the soft melancholy of ‘The End’. And the sheer euphoria of ‘There Is No Cure For It’ signs off this short, taut album with a justifiably smug grin as it achieves absolutely everything it clearly set out to do.
Anyone expecting the deep, dark, pounding Rock of the early albums would be best advised to look elsewhere. WHITE LIES have moved on, and so should you. We may be crap at sport but the weather is lovely. Come on in…
01. Am I Really Going To Die
02. As I Try Not To Fall Apart
04. I Don’t Want To Go To Mars
05. Step Outside
06. Roll December
08. Blue Drift
09. The End
10. There Is No Cure For It
https://www.whitelies.com / https://www.facebook.com/WhiteLies
Total: 9 / 10