White Lies have always had a very specific sound to their music. Mixing guitars and drums with sparkling synths, and bigger melodies as of Big TV, there hasn’t been a major change in their style yet. Friends continues this trend; it’s very much the kind of record you would expect from White Lies, to the point that it’s beyond wearing itself thin.
Friends starts off strong with Take It Out On Me, a racing upbeat track with a good groove and a glimmering chorus to it that slots perfectly between the verses, moving seamlessly and convincingly between them. Pace aside, it’s a perfect sign of what you’ll hear over the remainder of the album as well. There’s a few ballads here and there, with Don’t Want To Feel It All following the same aesthetic but lowering the tempo and the mood, and some songs stand out thanks to the sheer strength of their parts, with the riffs that drive Summer Didn’t Change A Thing being one of the album’s most memorable moments.
Outside of these few changes though, Friends doesn’t do much to define its parts. Songs blend into each other, often not even trying to find their own unique hook, and it quickly begins to drag as a result of this. Outside of Take It Out On Me and Summer Didn’t Change A Thing, there’s little to remember on the album, and ultimately it becomes an experience that’s harder to remember than an album should be.
It’s starting to seem like White Lies are relying too much on one thing for their own good. While there’s obviously still some positive ground to cover for them, an album’s worth of the same thing becomes too much of a trial to endure, and ultimately doesn’t feel worth the time investment. Friends is more of the same from White Lies, and unfortunately not in a positive way.