Friendly Fires - Pala (Listen & Download)
Release Date: May 16, 2011
Genre: Electronic Rock
Faze Grade: A+
Friendly Fire’s new album, ‘Pala’, completely surprises me. I did not care for Fire’s first album. I found it okay, as a record, and too trendy to have a unique sound. It reminded me too much of other heavy-hitters like Passion Pit or MGMT. When I saw ‘Pala’ hit the wires, I figured it would be an offering of more of the same. What we must consider though, is a two year gap between releases. Often big changes happen: a band has more time to gel and their sound develops maturity. Now, back with a greater sense of band individuality, Fire has much more to offer this go-round.
The first track “Live Those Days Tonight” is, for lack of a clearer word, awesome. It starts the mood of right (like most first tracks should). It combines indie dance with indie pop with a flavorful 80’s vibe that resonates throughout the album, sometimes in heavier doses (as in the case of ‘Hurting’). ‘Blue Cassette’ starts off with a certain Passion Pit flair, but bouncing into the chorus, the sound becomes their own. “Running Away” is another solid track, though “Hawaiian Air” is a little weird and oft-sounding, it still charms. “Hurting” is easily the second-best track on the album, and the remainder of the album continues to please any listener. This album has nary a bad (or slow) song, and never stops entertaining.
Though it is much too early to make high or lofty claims, I can state with confidence that ‘Pala’ is one of the top albums of the year. This is truly a groovy, chilled album for your summer music experience. A+
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