Pala – Friendly Fires
May 25, 2011
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This album has some very catchy hooks, a simple electro-pop album, not overly complicated, ground-breaking or difficult to listen to. There is nothing amazing about this album, the band very much picks up from where they left off. My favorite song from this band Kiss of Life, which has a very diverse instrumentation and expansive feel. Pala picks up where that single left off, with a bigger range of sound and inspiration.
Opening with Live Those Days Tonight the band really shows their intentions, creating a powerful and catchy track, inspiring the listener live, to enjoy and as a cliche it seems I am powerless to resist commands, carpe diem. A particularly apt track to open with considering the bands’ usual audience of indie warehouse ravers who double drop then pretend not to still love Barabara Streisand, but can’t help get down to the dubstep remix which plays a few hours later. This album should help ease them back into reality the next day, softening the comedown a little more with a perfect mix of upbeat and comforting tracks.
Blue Cassette is the second single, in which the singer reminisces about a blue cassette he found in his back yard. Imaginative , hey? Although I do remember hearing an interview in which he said this was a total lie. How disappointing. Listen out for the pitch bending at the beginning of the track, which seems to be all the rage with electro-production at the moment. Also worth a mention is Hawaiian Air, another very catchy track, lyrically not deviating far from the title and musically not deviating far from the rest of the album. While most of the record is fairly one-dimensional and repetitive, it does have some strong tracks and is a fairly easy listen.
It is difficult to be overly critical of this band except for a lack of musical development between albums, however, this is a solid record , considering the scrutiny (and usual subsequent failure) most sophomore albums receive. It is slightly underwhelming to the casual fan, something like the British summer. Much like British summer, this album and the dizzying highs of 30 degree days seem all that much sweeter when there is no hope of anything better. Taking a hard look at the current outlook for British rock music, perhaps 30 degrees isn’t all that bad.