With their recently released album, Ritual, White Lies is keeping the new wave genre revived and alive as if it were some sort of ritual for them. I had remembered hearing about them from their track off the Jennifer’s Body soundtrack, which I really liked so I was excited to see what this album had in store.
Although I’m not heavy into this sort of sound, I could still appreciate what White Lies had to offer. The music was kind of mellow and maybe a bit bland, but for its genre, it is very full in sounds ranging from the norm guitar, bass, and drums to an extensive assortment of instruments and sounds that the keyboardist recited through his hands.
What I really enjoyed about Ritual, was that each song had a story to it that pixilated in your mind. The lyrics are descriptive and creative to keep your imagination going along with the music. The sound is definitely more of a mature one that you’d dig if you like Joy Division, She Wants Revenge, and Interpol.
“Is Love” is a great song to open up their album. I automatically knew what I was in store for when I heard that creepy keyboard and the lead singer’s monotone voice. The way the song is carried out is interesting; more instruments and sounds accompany each section of the song. The next song, “Strangers,” starts off like a typical new wave song from the 80’s. There are these orchestral sounds, possibly a harpsichord, bursting through your speakers. By adding these different instruments, White Lies distinguishes themselves from the other new wave revival singers.
There were a few songs off the album that pushed them more into a rockish and indie sound. “Bigger Than Us” had that feel to it even though it did still maintain that new wave sound with the keyboard. The chorus is not as somber sounding. “Peace and Quiet” has a more sluggish beginning consisting of just the keys and drums. It reminds me of something Phil Colins would have written. It’s a little cliché sounding, but an interesting song nonetheless.
“Turn the Bells” is a more eerie and dismal song. The song tells a story that plays out in your mind about a funeral or mourning the death of a friend and how he’ll “turn the bells,” probably at the church towers. “Bad Love” is my favorite song off the album. I liked the plot in this one. It’s about a guy who’s crazy in love…but maybe too crazy. I’m not sure if he killed his lover, her lover, or even himself, but you can understand his pain and how he needed to end it.
“Come Down” is a perfect closing song. The steady metronome beat in the background carries it through as he sings about the hardships of having to leave the girl he loves because he knows that “time is like a wave that washes all the pain away.”
All in all, White Lies has made Ritual into an ode to new wave music while adding their own touch on it to make it something a bit different to let it stand out of the genre.
For more information on White Lies check out their official website.