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Strictly Albums Of The Year: Pala

Released 16th May 2011 on XL.

Chart Performance: Pala entered the UK chart at no.6 having darted into the official download charts at no.2.

What The Critics Said: “It’s all done with such passion that the more sugared tracks avoid the risk of boyband smoothness, and will surely blast out across barbecues and festivals this summer.” The Guardian

Pala, Friendly Fires second album, took the band to a different level of funky vintage dance and hip tripping beats, whilst still managing to capture the audience’s romantic dance moves. Lyrical Pala is filled with dark introspection and is obsessed with escape, yet still it’s bold, breathtaking and colourful. Filed with lyrics about running away that consist of daydream paradise islands with carnival beats to match.

Pala is loaded with melodic 80′s synth pop mixed with 90′s trip hop, songs like ”Running Away” and ”Hurting” are just the above. Lead singer Ed has mastered the passionate understandably beautiful vocals, there is no reason not to be spooned into the vocals, synths and body shaking bass- lines. ”Hawaiian Air,” ”Pull Me Back To Earth” and ”Live Those Days Tonight” rebel into magical summer anthems and cider in fields dreams. ”Blue Cassette” is beyond charming and tragically hurting at the same time, if ”Blue Cassette” was a male/female species, it would be the one to commit all the heartbroken communication to.

”Show Me Light” is slow with a horrible bust of colour, somehow Friendly Fires have captured the a mood that compels you to grab the nearest person and slow dance with them; the come down, positioned bang in the middle of all the other dizzy songs.

The summer saw Friendly Fires provide the difference between the average band and pitch perfect smash it every time band. Every performance saw Friendly FIres in wavy harmony with the festival crowds, rhythms shaking your hips as you sweat your lungs off.

Friendly Fires know how to work dance music with passion and lust, none of this dull mainstream dance music that evolves on cheap, blank beats being sung by multiple pop stars and grime artists, this is not dance music, it’s more than just making a fast buck. Friendly Fires define dance-indie-hop, body bumping before heading out on those drunken hazy nights out.

On the first listen I almost cried as Friendly Fires waved goodbye to the indie-dance market and waltzed right into the dance-trip market. Pala took a few more listens for me personally, I gradually fell in love with its air of wow, I have since learnt to consider Pala one of the great dance albums. Friendly Fires know how to be individualistic and stand out, and Pala proves it. Simone F

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Author: david

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