London-based White Lies rode the success of debut album ‘To Lose My Life’ across the festival scene in 2009; and quite rightly. Reaching number one on the UK Album Chart and receiving such acclaim as Radio 1’s Zane Lowe naming unreleased track ‘Death’ as his ‘Hottest Record in the World’ shortly after the debut release, their return has been hotly anticipated. The band has faced up to the gauntlet of the second album this year with the release of ‘Ritual’, providing a test of their credentials as a mainstay of the indie genre.
Leading track ‘Bigger Than Us’ is an instant hit with its punchy synth rhythm and typically resounding vocals leading into a catchy chorus. The band’s ability to produce songs which creep into the public conscious appears intact, with ‘Bigger Than Us’ comparable with ‘Fairwell to the Fairground’ and ‘To Lose My Life’ from their debut. In achieving this, ‘Ritual’ seems to represent a purposeful effort by the band to create tracks which make use of the haunting-vocals-over-synth-pop formula developed in the first record and this results in an inherent similarity with the debut. This is not always a bad thing, with ‘The Power and The Glory’ marking a particular outstanding effort, using careful build up of complex electronic sounds and descriptive, story-telling lyric.
However, the album seems to lack development and progression in some aspects, as despite the success of the White Lies’ familiar style, the impact of the debut has been diluted leaving this production slightly weaker. This being said, the album is a must for fans and with bands such as Hurts reinforcing this new ‘epic’ sound in the indie genre, ‘Ritual’ is sure to be well received.