Friendly Fires [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]

Friendly Fires [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]

by Friendly Fires
     
 

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On their self-titled debut, Friendly Fires serve up a very slick -- and very appealing -- mix of synth pop and dance-rock with unexpected nods to shoegaze that suggest the hard-edged, nu-rave sound might blur into something more interesting. The band crafts a big, hooky sound that loves melody, rhythms, and choruses equally, especially on "Jump in the Pool," which is

Overview

On their self-titled debut, Friendly Fires serve up a very slick -- and very appealing -- mix of synth pop and dance-rock with unexpected nods to shoegaze that suggest the hard-edged, nu-rave sound might blur into something more interesting. The band crafts a big, hooky sound that loves melody, rhythms, and choruses equally, especially on "Jump in the Pool," which is just as fun and refreshing as its title suggests (the tropical-sounding drum breaks don't hurt), and "In the Hospital," a sleek track that sounds like the D.F.A. collaborating with Franz Ferdinand on an especially poppy day. For the rest of Friendly Fires, the band switches between these two approaches, and while they do a pretty good job of bringing the punk-funk, particularly on "Lovesick," this is very familiar territory that the band doesn't embellish much -- and "On Board" and "Photobooth" narrowly avoid coming off as parodies of that sound. Friendly Fires are more convincing, and more intriguing, when they give into their lush pop side. "Strobe"'s aptly shimmering guitars, flickering keyboards, and almost ridiculously pretty melody nod to M83 and New Order, and the band saves the best for last with "Ex Lover," which pits steep, tone-bending guitars and sleepy vocals against brisk dance beats, suggesting what Chapterhouse might have sounded like if they were actually influenced by house. As it stands, Friendly Fires seem to be influenced by dream pop and whatever trend is big in dance music -- "Skeleton Boy"'s bleepy keyboards borrow from the 8-bit craze -- but when the results are as fun as this album is at its best, it's hard to slam them too much for being derivative; better just to enjoy Friendly Fires as fleeting fun. [The deluxe editon of the album released in 2009 adds a two-part second disc of bonus materials. One part is a DVD with four videos and footage of a live show, the is made up of remixes (including Aeroplane's lucious take on "Paris" that features the vocals of Au Revior Simone), a song from the Itunes exclusive release of the album ("Relationships," and the band's summer 2009 single "Kiss of Life."]

Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/2009
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0634904438326
catalogNumber:
1057524
Rank:
140544

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