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White Lies
Ritual Isobel George , January 6th, 2011 08:28

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One of those odd words in the English lexicon with an opposing, yet complementary double meaning, 'ritual'. In its original sense, it signifies a magical or religious ceremony of stylised and sacred steps designed to effect the performer's will. In a secular world, the word has also grown to mean a routine action or empty charade, a puppet show without the attendant spirits, a mundane acting out of forms and norms. The ritual of Holy Communion on one hand, or the ritual of flossing one's teeth on the other.

Yes, you can probably see where I'm heading with this, and indeed, to join in the chorus of critical raspberries aimed in this unit-shifting young London trio's direction does feel in itself a bit like going through the motions. Better that, though, than going through the bowel motions of those who dutifully tick the boxes necessary to declare them Britain's new conquering doom-rock heroes from the front pages, or those brazen enough to mention them in the same sentence as... No, sorry, I can't even do it.

And anyway, no sane mind could keep from devising the most exquisitely excruciating of Bateman-esque tortures to drain the blood from the ruddy cheeks of Harry, Charles and Jack (they Photoshop out the rud for the press shots of course) on actually listening to Ritual. White Lies probably love American Psycho though. Probably did their A-Level coursework on it.

Opening punt 'Is Love' suggests they're trying to edge into a dark, light-industrial dance territory, but its hysterically horrible oscillating wacka-wacka scratching sounds and general puff-chested pomp suggest nothing more edgy than the recent misadventures in beat of fellow shiny-faced berks Keane. And those lyrics! "She stares into the mirror / Youth fading with the sun" intones Harry McVeigh with what he probably imagines is a Tennysonian gravitas. Dramatic frozen scenes and mystery 'she's, disconnected phrases and images ("scarlet like a papercut" " milk going rancid on the table") are the wooden actors in bassist Charles Cave's lyrical Twilight. Though the riffs bound forward eager and coltish, the deadening weight of that ludicrously affected voice saddles them with sag.

The songs themselves are too simple, too by-the-book in structure to bear up under the weight of such buffoonery, no matter what cloaks of production grandeur are swept over them. White Lies live are one of the funniest things you'll ever see, but on record the joke soon pales, and a lot faster this time round than on debut 'To Lose My Life', which at least boasted some youthful first-time brio. 'Strangers', with an impeccable radio heft and polish courtesy of the evil hand of Alan Moulder, claims "I've got a sense of urgency", but leaves the listener feeling anything but, sail its synths like blank flags as it may. The chorus of first single 'Bigger Than Us' (Big Country going to a fancy dress party as Depeche Mode) builds clunkily in all the expected ways, but any traces of surge you might feel are much like the escaping tingles you feel as someone vainly plugs away down below during forgettable sex.

Talking of which, 'Streetlights' wanks over the lyrical biscuit with the absolute belter "Bad sex and ethanol, high scores on Solitaire...," though it's run close by the petulant bass-grumble of 'Holy Ghost', which sonically is exactly the feared consequence that made The Big Pink throw the tapes for 'Stop The World' out of a moving car window rather than put it on their debut album. "You were writhing on the floor like a moth in molasses / Whoever taught you to move your body like that?" "Maybe some day I can scream like you / I'm not looking for a holy ghost..." It's anyone's guess what in the Christing fuck they're on about.

'Turn The Bells' has a flat Interpol-ish sort of chug and somehow manages to make its scanty scaffolding sound impossibly portentous and over-egged. 'Bad Love' is a dour trudge of crime passionel, Hollyoaks-style, over a limp attempt at Numan's 'Down In The Park': "Speaking down the phone line to your mum, she said honey ain't home right now / I bought a tuxedo and I bought a gun... If I'm guilty of anything it's loving you too much / Honey, sometimes love means getting a little rough," asserts Harry. Well, domestic violence worked for Eminem and Rihanna...

I could go on, but I won't, because listening to this album, which will sell by the undoubted hangar-load, makes me weary with the weight of decades of lost chances. It is a flimsy, empty, inept shade of a shadow of a darkness dressed up in borrowed clothes several sizes too big for it. It makes me feel like the protagonist of Radiohead's 'Just' video, lying down on the floor too weak to complain any more, filled with contagious inertia, just asking to be left alone. It is not, let us be clear, alright if you like that sort of thing. I don't care if they really, really mean it, and if you buy it for any member of your family you are both demonstrating that you have no respect for them and contributing to the decline of civilization. And all the ceremonies of the world will not cleanse your soul.

roblowpulse
Jan 6, 2011 1:56pm

You liked it then? At least I think that's what you're trying to get across.

Nice use of the biscuit.

Thank god for The Quietus.

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JohnSelf
Jan 6, 2011 2:37pm

I might give it a miss then.

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John Calvert
Jan 6, 2011 3:02pm

So. Just so we're clear. You don't like it? Too much beating round the bush, here.

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IhaveaNameYes
Jan 6, 2011 6:10pm

Fuck off

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Nicky
Jan 6, 2011 6:14pm

With the Internet and the blog now everyone thinks that are experts in music. Isobel who?

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Meryl
Jan 6, 2011 7:05pm

In reply to Nicky:

You again? Your rhetoric is getting old. "Nicky WHO?"

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dylan
Jan 7, 2011 11:36am

what an absolutely brilliant review

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Sawyer
Jan 7, 2011 1:11pm

Jeesh, aren't you bored. I guess you tried to throw out all the hate before the others so you could be all unique. I recommend writing essays, not reviews.

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New Here
Jan 7, 2011 1:12pm

What's up with all the pseudonyms? Isobel George is not a name that returns any music reviews on Google. Nor does sparky Brother-hater Agnes Ball. Who are you people? Why all the white lies? Just saying... Great piece anyway.

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Jamie Milton
Jan 7, 2011 2:35pm

"wanking over the lyrical biscuit" is one of the best lines I've ever read in a review. You ought to have that copyrighted.

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Bann Benner of Bolling Bone Bagazine
Jan 7, 2011 3:04pm

In reply to Sawyer:

I'd just like to take this opportunity to welcome all the White Lies street teamers to The Quietus! Enjoy your time here, kids!

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Donut McDonut
Jan 7, 2011 5:12pm

Yawn.

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Luke Turner
Jan 7, 2011 10:05pm

Another terrific review of White Lies can be found in the form of Factory Floor's remix of their single.

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Rudolf
Jan 8, 2011 12:55am

An excellent review.

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tenbenson
Jan 8, 2011 1:23pm

"the evil hand of alan moulder". good review, bad sentence.

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nathan bird
Jan 8, 2011 4:04pm

Crap review as much as the person who wrote it!!!!

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James
Jan 10, 2011 10:01am

I found something funnier than White Lies live, your feeble attempt at reviewing their album. Thank god you're in the minority.

http://www.anydecentmusic.com/review/2488/White-Lies-Ritual.aspx

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tenbenson
Jan 10, 2011 11:12am

white lies fans are pretty funny

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Meryl
Jan 11, 2011 9:58am

In reply to tenbenson:

They mainly represent a fundamental inability to understand what a "review" is.

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Sleazy Martinez
Jan 11, 2011 1:05pm

In reply to Meryl:

Thank GOD The Quietus has become the place for frustrated, would-be journalists to vent their desperate spleens, leaving the rest of us to go about our business untroubled.

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 11, 2011 4:40pm

In reply to Sleazy Martinez:

I love it when fans of shit bands get so disgruntled. As displayed by your splendid features on Florence & The Machine and MGMT amongst others the stock response is to denounce the author as "would-be journalists" or some such insult. The fact remains that these acts are huge, steaming cultural turds with nothing to offer anyone who's heard this stuff done properly the first time round. Really, why waste your money on this? You can buy records by Joy Division, The Cure, The Chameleons and loads of others for next to nothing. White Lies are total shit. Go and widen your musical palette by taking in something daring and not this regurgitated puke that's fit for no one save someone who's about to spend their first record voucher. Oh, and the fact that they're a bunch of toffs is another reason for calling their heads to be served on silver platters with their eyeballs scooped out. The cunts.

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frajer pompka
Jan 11, 2011 5:02pm

In reply to Stavros P. Leibowitz:

then... i love cunts. ritual 10/10

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Jan 12, 2011 1:32am

In reply to Meryl:

That wasn't my tired old rhetoric. It's an imposter. I loved the review. White Lies are piss and i've never met anyone called Harry or anyone who has met someone called Harry. Loads of Ians but no Harries. Pretentious, too much money or a name for a hamster, surely? Harry Curtis? Harry Scott? Harry Cobain, you get the drift. White Lies are shit.

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Ds
Jan 12, 2011 6:51am

It is funny how the stock response to these reviews is to criticise the quality of writing, rather than try and argue with the reviewer's judgement.

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Jan 12, 2011 5:40pm

In reply to Ds:

The quality of writing is just important as the content. If you've something important to say...Then learn how say it.

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LOdger
Jan 13, 2011 9:59am

White Lise and this album have more quality then all of your craps and bullshits about what good music is and should be.... and how clever and intellectual you are....listen to "your" "good" music and let others live....and breath without your mind and emotional hatred and frustration...

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dirigible
Jan 13, 2011 10:44am

Good review.

White Lies make Editors look merely shit.

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Coops
Jan 13, 2011 11:40pm

In reply to dirigible:

Isobel, I loved the biscuit line, but, you are trying far too fucking hard. And failing. It just comes across as art college newsletter wank. John, Luke - tell her to read everything Nic Lowrey has written and then go back to the naughty corner to try again, please? She's just a bit too crap...

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liam
Jan 14, 2011 3:23am

brilliant review. this album is terrible. loved the first album but they haven't evolved musically at all

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mofo
Jan 14, 2011 2:34pm

Already Out!

http://sux.cz/c203

Enjoy! :)

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 14, 2011 6:17pm

In reply to LOdger:

Lodger: learn to spell the band's name, eh?

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HKelly
Jan 14, 2011 8:41pm

Oh dear, what a tale of sorrow you tell.
ITS AN ALBUM FOR GOD SAKE, NOT A RESPONSE TO ONE OF CHOMSKI'S THEORIES.
Grow up & get a firm grip on things.
Your boss will be so impressed at what he supposedly pays you for, AS YOU HAVE CARRIED OUT AN OTP SUMMARY.
I would not even choose to guess at to what kind of music you listen to.

Strip back your obvious primal paintwork & cast aside what adequate qualifications you clearly do not have and take a good hard look at yourself in your large mirror, im sure you will find a ridiculous looking person in big pants and clown shoes.

PS. I hope you bookings as a splinter cell of zippo's circus are all you hoped for.

All the best,

Howard

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Stirling
Jan 15, 2011 12:51am

"It makes me feel like the protagonist of Radiohead's 'Just' video, lying down on the floor too weak to complain any more"

Funny you should say that, because that's exactly how I feel when I read music reviews these days.

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Michal
Jan 15, 2011 12:46pm

this review is epic fail
actually if you forget about JD comparsions this album is really good
and even whan this album might be bad, your review is 100 times worse

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Justsomeonerandomandforgettable
Jan 15, 2011 9:53pm

You take this whole thing way too serious, and you kinda overdo it with all the negative stuff. You don't like it, sure, but 1. give valid reasons and 2. you should let somebody check your blood pressure

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John
Jan 16, 2011 7:00am

An excellent review. White Lies are spot on with the album title. Dull and repetitive. Same shit as To Lose My Life.

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Beethoven
Jan 16, 2011 5:10pm

This review (or reprimand) is perfect. White lies are a pathetic,
shallow ghost of a band.

I love the way they never show the guitarist's head in the videos though. God forbid their audience of uneducated, unambitious muppets realised a band member was bald. lol

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 17, 2011 12:50pm

In reply to HKelly:

You really have no appreciation of culture, do you? And as for the other idiot who says, 'Take away the Joy Division comparisons and you have a good album' - what kind of logic is that? Anyway, let's look at those Chameleons comparisons a bit more, shall we?

The apologists for these toff twats really don't have a clue, do they?

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Will
Jan 17, 2011 5:39pm

In reply to Stavros P. Leibowitz:

Okay, just because they're posh means they must be shit... nice mature attitude there.

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Sup
Jan 17, 2011 8:47pm

Lol internet arguments, you all sound retarded.

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2plus2isjoe
Jan 17, 2011 11:24pm

I'm enjoying how people seem to believe that reviews are an objective medium.

"Oh my God! She disagrees with me. But, then, WHO'S RIGHT?"

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Jan 18, 2011 8:13pm

In reply to 2plus2isjoe:

Music is subjective. Just look at mainstream radio.

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James
Jan 18, 2011 8:58pm

I think your review was just as over the top as White Lies lyrics

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tim
Jan 18, 2011 10:09pm

what boggles me is why, if this album is such utter shit as described, is there a HUGE FUCKING AD FOR IT on the page for the Trish Keenan commemorative articles?

I love the Quietus, but I think an ad-free tribute would have been in better taste. And yes, the phrase "wanking over the lyrical biscuit" should not be lost in the informational blizzard of the internet, but should be inscribed in the tomes of history.

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John Doran
Jan 19, 2011 9:13am

In reply to tim:

Tim, Tim, Tim,

There are only three of us at The Quietus and two of us work round the clock, seven days a week on it. In an ideal world there should be three times as many people bare minimum to keep a site of this size going.

All of the advertising is automated and there is nothing we can do about 'turning it on' or 'off' because it exists as part of a pre-determnined template.

We took the death of Trish very seriously, which is why we organized a respectful tribute feature to run on the next work day.

What isn't respectful, however, is your lazy trolling for a fight. Why don't you go and whinge about another aspect of the site because this isn't the excuse you're looking for.

As for the ad, well, it's not "FUCKING HUGE" is it? It's the absolute, dead centre, standard MPU size. We're running it because Polydor and White Lies (since talking to them on Twitter briefly yesterday, my respect has grown for them tenfold by the way, they are an absolutely massive band who actually don't need support from us in any particular way) want to advertise with us. This is, presumably, because they are cleverer people than you.

Let's see if you can work it out.

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Jamie
Jan 19, 2011 11:45am

In reply to John Doran:

A bit up yourself there aren't you? Also if this is the sort of review we can expect from every new album then we might as well not bother with looking at them. It's funny how you say you spoke to them on twitter and your respect has grown 10 fold, yet your colleague isobel has more or less smashed them into the ground and trodden them in... Maybe if she'd actually LISTENED to the album properly and taken a step back she might have noticed that this is in fact, a masterpiece of modern rock (something that there is very little of theses days) and perhaps given a slightly more informative and decent review, rather than just slating the album because she only listened to the first 10 seconds of each song (seeing as you're all so busy, 24/7 etc). Perhaps if you'd done this, your respect for them would already have been 10 fold, without the need to follow them on twitter and say "Yeah they're alright actually". Fucking music journalists - you're all the same, think you know it all but you're all just arrogant toffs who wouldn't know decent music if it hit you in the face. Twats.

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 19, 2011 11:54am

In reply to Will:

A crassly put point from me, perhaps. Plenty of posh types make good music. The trouble with this lot is that their privilege shows - their lyrics and music refuse to reflect the real world and instead dwells in a cartoon world of morbidity. It's all a sham - you know they're not having an existential crisis; they're just posturing.

As for HKelly's point of "It's only an album" - that's what sites like this a far. We come here for discourse on music and if it means so little to you then go and fuck off to some consumer guide that will tell you nothing. Perhaps Amazon might be more to your liking?

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 19, 2011 11:57am

In reply to Jamie:

You don't listen to a lot of music, do you? I mean, if you did then you'd have something to compare this album to which would lead you to the conclusion that this a slimy, steaming dog turd of an album.

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Jan 19, 2011 12:25pm

In reply to Stavros P. Leibowitz:

Dear Stavros, Me not listening to a wide range of music would be like you guys not writing shitty reviews, it just wouldn't happen. My life revolves around music, I've been on stage at festivals in front of 3000+ people so I know what real critics can be like, thankfully though, I spend enough time fine-tuning my music to try to keep them at bay. There's always a minority though - it's usually one or two know-it-alls out of a few thousand that think they know better. All I can say is - if you want to be a REAL music journalist, why not get on stage yourselves and have critics slate you for all your hard work and effort, then realise all the shit and the lows that musicians have to trudge through just to get their music across, only to have people like you tear it apart. It's a fucked up world, and you 'Music Journo's' serve very little purpose in it.

As for the 'comparing it to something' part - that's just fucking ridiculous - thats the only reason you 'critics' criticise, because all you ever do is compare bands to other bands, rather than seeing them as something they created themselves, uniquely.

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 19, 2011 12:41pm

In reply to :

I'm not a music journalist but funnily enough, I am a musician and I don't see how only those who get up on stage are qualified to pass comment. You're argument is all over the shop and let's not think for a second that someone like White Lies have slogged and trudged in the way that you describe. They have a huge operation behind them that has no interest in art or musical expression but simply chasing money. This is reflected in their music - it's hollow, empty and culturally worthless. I'd even go so far as to say that it's deceitful and fails to offer any insight whatsoever.

Furthermore, if you do listen to a wide range of music then you'd recognise that White Lies are tat. Oh, and my band's better than your band nyah nyah nyah...

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Jamie
Jan 19, 2011 1:09pm

In reply to Stavros P. Leibowitz:

Well, thats the sort of response i'd expect from a 'music jouno' anyway, however you label yourself. I don't think that only those who get up on stage are qualified to pass comment, which upon reading back wasn't worded exactly how i meant it, but then i have a million things i want to scream about this review and i guess it's hard to vent my feelings towards it via text, but the point is there.

Maybe it IS a big operation behind them, but they didn't start out that way, they had to deal with the same shit as every other musician that tries to make it in this world.

And fair enough, YOU guys don't like it - but that doesn't mean its hollow and culturally worthless. Tell that to the people who cry into thier pillows when they listen to a song that they really connect with, or a song that makes them feel euphoric. That is REAL music. You can't take that away no matter what you think.

If you think that this brilliantly engineered album is a total flop then perhaps you're better off going back to playschool and reviewing songs by The Wiggles or Barney the Dinosaur. Perhaps then you may be able to justify the utter shit that was written in this review (The 'wank/biscuit' thing proves the maturity of the journalistic talent there at the Quietus).

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 19, 2011 1:31pm

In reply to Jamie:

Ahh... here we go again: the ol' "if it makes loads of money it must be good" debate. This has nothing to do with aesthetics or determining whether something is fundamentally good or not. But hey, you stick to your point of view and I'll stick to mine but I'll guarantee you this: give it five years and no one will speak of White Lies in hushed and revered tones. Perhaps a snort of derision at best but most likely a shrug of the shoulders.

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John Doran
Jan 19, 2011 4:47pm

In reply to Jamie:

A toff? I was saying to my footman and my amanuensis earlier what utter rot this is.

Like a lot of stupid people you're confusing posh with fucking awesome, sexually gifted and very, very, very smart.

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John Calvert
Jan 19, 2011 7:25pm

In reply to John Doran:

Its true, he pleasures several woman at once while Genevan scientists measure their orgasms on the richter scale. He once killed a silverback gorilla using only telepathy and an air of maverick cool.

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John Doran
Jan 19, 2011 9:57pm

In reply to John Calvert:

Dude, it was a hamadryas baboon.

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Jamie
Jan 20, 2011 12:05am

In reply to John Doran:

To John (Calvert and Doran), and Stavros, you obviously have no real concept of music, life, and reality - so do all White Lies (and other hard-working (and not pretentious and stuck up toffee nosed wannabe big shot no nothing c**ts) a favour and do one... preferably back to your highly educated, silver spooned f*cking life where no one gives a flying sh*t about your worthless, bigoted and self righteous reviews. When you decide to write something worth reading, maybe you'll get more realistic figures on your web counter. Caio, you real-life knowledge-less knobs. I look forward to your pathetic attempts of a reply. Kisses, love Jamie. x

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Paul Bowman
Jan 20, 2011 1:15am

"It is not, let us be clear, alright if you like that sort of thing. I don't care if they really, really mean it, and if you buy it for any member of your family you are both demonstrating that you have no respect for them and contributing to the decline of civilization. And all the ceremonies of the world will not cleanse your soul." -- This is disturbing. Have you seen a therapist? Not trying to attack, you sound tormented.

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 20, 2011 9:40am

In reply to Jamie:

But clearly you do give a shit - why else would you be getting your knickers in such a twist?

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tenbenson
Jan 20, 2011 11:57am

In reply to Paul Bowman:

i thought that was pretty funny, as it goes...

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tenbenson
Jan 20, 2011 11:58am

In reply to tenbenson:

you know, not trying to suggest that fans of this band lack a sense of humour or anything...

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tenbenson
Jan 20, 2011 11:59am

In reply to Jamie:

you're in white lies aren't you! or the road crew or something. maybe the fluffer?

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tenbenson
Jan 20, 2011 12:07pm

have you noticed that there is a bit of this review on the corporate album ad on this very site? how funny!

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Jan 21, 2011 4:32am

In reply to tenbenson:

It's ridiculous the amount this album is being shit on. It's not great, and not as good as their first, but I enjoy it somewhat. The single is sadly the only song that stands out. It seems you "reviewers" just make a bunch of toilet humor referring to a band.

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pork
Jan 21, 2011 5:34pm

Isobel it's alright...be strong isobel

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Venus
Jan 22, 2011 1:22am

Let's be honest, the album is getting slated in reviews (Guardian, Pitchfork, NME etc) because the lyrics are stupid. The bassist writes the lyrics, maybe he was out of ideas & inspiration? It's understandable seeing as he writes in frontman McVeigh's house. Perhaps the other two should have a go at writing, can't be any worse than this shower of shit.

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Tia
Jan 22, 2011 1:38am

In reply to Jamie:

Take a deep breath, it's called an opinion. You have one, so does the reviewer, the fans and the haters. Why are you getting so worked up for? The band said themselves that they don't care what other people think of their music as long as they like it. So even if it's just them, their parents and friends who buy the album no love lost right?

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Jasmine
Jan 22, 2011 1:59am

In reply to HKelly:

Well done on mastering the use of Google Scholar! The review was quite fitting in that it demonstrates what the band seek to achieve: controversy. The difference is that the reviewer genuinely seems to dislike the album where as White Lies come over as pretentious and contrived. A band doesn't have to produce songs that detail the meaning of life, but listeners can tell when lyrics and music have been rushed and produced on demand. I genuinely liked the first album, but this second attempt is God awful. I'm baffled as to how none of the band's recording team had the guts/honesty/sense (delete as appropriate)to tell them that some of the tracks (e.g Holy Ghost) were painfully shit.

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Electra
Jan 22, 2011 2:07am

In reply to Jamie:

Clearly you're one of the band member's friend/family/PR dogs.

Don't be so naive, sometimes even consistently brilliant bands produce crap songs. White Lies on this album though are consistently shit. But that doesn't mean they won't produce good music ever (Price of Love was a fab track..so they have the ability). Look at The Wombats, they were middle of the road, disappeared and have suddenly re-emerged with a song that is so epic Kerrang and Radio 1 can't get enough.

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RichieSpenno
Jan 23, 2011 6:37pm

Pitchfork already did this.

It's a good album.

And no thanks, I don't want your newsletter if this is a taster of what you put out on this website.

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Gerry
Jan 23, 2011 9:12pm

What a load of "wank" this review is. Put simply, (unlike the laboured reviewer)I've read better in a pretentious sixth form essay.

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Bloody Mary
Jan 23, 2011 9:35pm

In reply to Gerry:

I think you'll find the only people being pretentious are the band themselves. Just seen them in the Track by Track on NME and my God do they take themselves way too seriously. Douchebags.

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Meh
Jan 23, 2011 11:01pm

This is a very well written review, wish there more like it.

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Land Railway Company
Jan 23, 2011 11:32pm

In reply to Coops:

You might be wrong? Totally spot on review. If you people like this kind of music then i'd love to see your record collections. I'd guess there's a lot of stuff in there that you don't listen to anymore? Sounded alright at the time but now it's kind of funny? Have a laugh about it smoking your alternative roll ups. In the future.

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Land Railway Company
Jan 23, 2011 11:44pm

In reply to HKelly:

Chomski doesn't feature that heavily on this album so you shouldn't get so angry. Probably the farthest thought in a public school boys mind. Latin and trying not to get fisted must be the main concerns.

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Nathan O'Sullivan
Jan 24, 2011 3:23am

Okay, I'll come out with it straight, I AM a fan of White Lies, and definitely a fan of Ritual. Now the thing with music is anything you say about it is purely subjective, so in terms of journalism, its always a very personal affair. But this review! Damn! I can tell you don't like the album, but you just hide behind your bias with witty remarks, and gratituous bad language! This kind of music is always hit and miss with anyone, especially when they listen to other (In my opinion) pretentious bands like "Radiohead". I respect your opinion, but every review should be written with a little less arrogance. You should approach it from a fresh perspective, and try to find a bit more of an even ground.

Ritual:
1. It is "gloomy", and it does hark back a bit lyrically to other grungey, angst-filled bands, but people of a certain temperance appreciate that.
2. Some of the lyrics do seem a bit offhand, but when listened to it all flows nicely and never sounds too disjointed. And in a sense the pretentious nature of White Lies begs the songs to appear a little ambiguous.
3. Their sound is definitely going to grate for anyone who has listened to a lot of the genre.
4. You definitely took a lot of the lyrics out of context, but I guess you did point out it definitely sounds a bit absurd at times.

Anyway, it was entertaining to read regardless, but Music Journalism is a tired exercise; technology enables us to listen to anything we want to in a few seconds, we don't really need anyone else's opinion anymore. In terms of album reviews, you can definitely make your opinion up thanks to the ease of getting to the music, so i think it's easy to see that:

If i think something's shite, I'll find a negative review to enforce my opinion, and the same with if I thought it was good.

Theres nothing wrong at all with the article, it's just opinion, and ultimately always will be.

Ironically I actually enjoyed reading it.

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And all the King's horses
Jan 24, 2011 12:50pm

Why are people getting all worked up for? The collective opinion of the reviews is that Ritual sucks. Nobody wants to write a bad review surely. Time for the band (and their friends) to stop posting under pseudonyms on here. YOUR ALBUM BLOWS!

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Jan 24, 2011 2:59pm

Brilliant review and very accurate. They are ridiculously overrated, am sick of NME and Radio 1 kissing their arses. Hopefully they'll do an Editors and just disintegrate into nothingness.

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hobbes
Jan 25, 2011 4:53pm

In reply to Jamie:

Jamie, mate. I want you to print out your last post. Stick it in a folder in your mum's loft. Then when you get to about 17 or 18, dig it out and re-read it. You can then laugh ruefully to yourself about the idiocy of youth and just how wrong one can be when one has too many e-numbers.

"To John (Calvert and Doran), and Stavros, you obviously have no real concept of music, life, and reality - so do all White Lies (and other hard-working (and not pretentious and stuck up toffee nosed wannabe big shot no nothing c**ts) a favour and do one... preferably back to your highly educated, silver spooned f*cking life where no one gives a flying sh*t about your worthless, bigoted and self righteous reviews. When you decide to write something worth reading, maybe you'll get more realistic figures on your web counter. Caio, you real-life knowledge-less knobs. I look forward to your pathetic attempts of a reply. Kisses, love Jamie. x"

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jan 25, 2011 6:43pm

Nathan says: "Music Journalism is a tired exercise; technology enables us to listen to anything we want to in a few seconds, we don't really need anyone else's opinion anymore. In terms of album reviews, you can definitely make your opinion up..."

You're missing the point here. It doesn't matter if you can listen to music in seconds or not. If you can't discuss the cultural worth of a piece of work in any kind of meaningful context, then an opinion that goes no further than "I quite like this" means nothing.

There also seems to be an increase of people like you on various online discussions that throw their hands up in horror the moment that someone doesn't tow the party line. Another regular viewpoint is that if Artist X sells tons of records then they are beyond criticism. This is of course bollocks and if we took this logic to its natural conclusion then the Nuremberg Rally would be seen as the greatest gig of all.

Not that I'm comparing White Lies to the Nazis; just the shit on my shoes.

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Hayden
Jan 25, 2011 8:06pm

In reply to Stavros P. Leibowitz:

I practically wet myself at that last point you made.

They are an epic fail of a band. I completely agree with All the Kings horses too (cool username btw) they are overrated by Radio 1.

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Land Railway Company
Jan 25, 2011 11:36pm

I love reviewers who have an opinion. Maybe just me. White Lies will not stand the test of time. They'll knock out another more 'experimental' album, that won't sell, and then fuck off and be lawyers or more likely, Simon Cowell cunts and think they know what they are doing whithin pop etc, and write for a fuck head band. It's happened before and it'll happen again. White Lies are shite!

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Land Railway Company
Jan 25, 2011 11:50pm

In reply to Sup:

You wrote lol. Lol? And we're all retarded? Get a grip and get back to wanking over your Cheryl Cole calendar.

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Land Railway Company
Jan 26, 2011 12:07am

In reply to John Doran:

Brilliant Doran. Unknown word that means something quite simple. Plain english is lost on you. 'Words will be my weapons!' Are you feeling bad about parading about in front of the mirror in your sister's wedding dress? Accept it and accept that you won't ever write for NME or Nuts.

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John Doran
Jan 26, 2011 7:52am

In reply to Land Railway Company:

Jesus Christ this is painful. Ok, here's one of the many features I wrote for NME last year: http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=10&p=9423&title=nicky_wire_interview_from_now_on_it_s_th&more=1&c=1

When I was much thinner, I did used to wear a wedding dress, yes. I only don't wear my sister's wedding dress now as it's in Australia and I'd never fit in it.

I hope this helps.

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Sophie J
Jan 26, 2011 2:55pm

The frontman of this ridiculous band is completely retarded read:
http://www.nme.com/news/white-lies/54625. The comments from the readers are pretty funny.

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Nathan O'Sullivan
Jan 30, 2011 10:24pm

In reply to Stavros P. Leibowitz:

There was definitely more than three lines in what I said, and my point; as long ago as i said it, is that there isn't much point discussing something which as having little historical, social, or any kind of impact so onesidedly. I have changed my opinion on the album, it's definitely not as well written as the first. And you totally took what I said out of context to feed your own point, I don't care about any other musicians or the music industry in this context, nor is your miserly, bitter approach to the current music industry of any importance, each song to it's own. My point is, as music is something enjoyed by the masses, we are all entitled to our own opinion, and some people definitely try to pass their opinion off as fact. And very poor show for using Nazi's as an allegory, poor show indeed! Shows how you small minded you are, and unfortunately you and the majority of people on the internet (including me) are so arrogant they don't realise they'll never take anything in positively from these discussions except your own perverse pleasure in attempting to look like a smartass.

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Cellar
Jan 30, 2011 10:52pm

I agree. I find myself acting like a smartass all the time on music forums. Trying to stay civil to someone who calls Rumours a 'searing classic', is hard. Classic is bad enough but searing is too much. If anything it's a wet towel on your face classic. Not a classic. It's shit. Your music journalism piece is true. No more blindly buying albums on the strength of a review, listen to it on You Tube. I bought Q this month, purely for toilet reading and nearly puked at how bad it was. Terrible.

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Dean
Feb 1, 2011 7:27pm

They must be utterly deluded, they no doubt read comment boards like this and think "wow we've divided opinion, we're so controversial, we're just like Nirvana cause we piss people off".

The difference being that Nirvana's music was something all parties could listen to without wanting to pour industrial bleach down their throats.

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The 50 Something Indie Kid
Feb 5, 2011 12:24am

Hey kiddies, Take it for an old fart that saw both The Chameleons and Joy Divison and has listened to The White Lies, whilst White Lies may be blagging a bit of "old skool" rock for their sound and MAY not be setting the world alight (is that the wrong use of language in these troubled times?) in these parts of cyber space I have to say that I'm pleasantly suprised with the latest offering.

The one question the album raises is that in these days of bands not really making money from recorded music, do young bands really work at the craft of recording them??

Just putting the question out there like.

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Sophie J
Feb 5, 2011 1:15am

In reply to The 50 Something Indie Kid:

A resounding no, they simply aren't good enough. Ritual blows.

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anonymous
Feb 5, 2011 1:46am

this review absolutely sucks

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Jinks
Feb 6, 2011 12:04pm

In reply to anonymous:

Why does this review suck? because it's describes the band and album down to a t?

Don't be a twat.

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Birdie
Feb 19, 2011 9:30pm

In reply to Jinks:

They sound fuck all like the Chameleons or Joy Divison. The virtual absence of guitars on Ritual pisses on both those comparisons. And Mark Burgess could eat Harry and co for breakfast.

I would go with Ultravox fronted by Julian Cope on downers.

And that's not a criticism. Pomposity with massive choruses rules. Fuck all that worthy but unlistenable shite that passes for 'cool' these days. Old twats like me that lived through the eighties eat htis shit up. Glad not to be young in this dismal decade.

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Andy P
Mar 7, 2011 4:29pm

I've seen a few people on here saying things like 'who is this reviewing this masterpiece?' and 'Isobel, who?', implying that the reviewer has no right to judge the artist's (being White Lies') work - despite it being her job - because according to them she doesn't exist.
In which case, what gives them the right to judge the reviewers work, when they don't exist to her?

What's even stupider is that most likely 90% of these people are White Lies fans, whose opinion is obviously biased towards WL; apparently they can say a piece of music is good because it comes from their favourite band - which is [un]questionably right...

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Andy P
Mar 7, 2011 4:29pm

I've seen a few people on here saying things like 'who is this reviewing this masterpiece?' and 'Isobel, who?', implying that the reviewer has no right to judge the artist's (being White Lies') work - despite it being her job - because according to them she doesn't exist.
In which case, what gives them the right to judge the reviewers work, when they don't exist to her?

What's even stupider is that most likely 90% of these people are White Lies fans, whose opinion is obviously biased towards WL; apparently they can say a piece of music is good because it comes from their favourite band - which is [un]questionably right...

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A.nonymous
Mar 12, 2011 8:27am

your opinion.

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Jamie
Apr 7, 2011 1:41pm

In reply to hobbes:

I'm 34 dickhead.... I have lived around for long enough to know what I believe in, and if I believe they are toffee nosed c**ts, then that's what they are (even if I was a bit hungover/dazed/pent up with aggression when I read this shit review). Maybe it's you that needs to stick yourself in the loft, lock yourself in, and throw the key out of the sky light.

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Christopher Tubbs
Apr 26, 2011 4:56pm

Crushing. I did an interview with White Lies for Basement Sessions recently and we talked about 'Ritual'. http://www.vimeo.com/22886127

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Ed
Aug 10, 2011 3:59pm

In reply to Land Railway Company:

What's wrong with being a lawyer?

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Apotheodaimon
Oct 4, 2011 6:54pm

You obviously dont play music as a musician... This album is quite good, when faced with xerox after xerox of the same crap that you just championed in your, albeit decently worded, WHOLLY inaccurate review...

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Tim
Oct 21, 2011 5:35pm

In reply to Andy P:

Yeah, thats what I took from these comments, that 90% of the people on here are avid White Lies fanatics... Skim reading is one thing, but you clearly didn't pay any attention to this.

Also the issue isn't that 'Isobel Who' shouldn't be negative about the album. Or at least it shouldn't be. She's a 'reviewer', she is supposed to be giving us her opinion. But as anyone that wants to write for a living should know, you MUST be able to at least make an attempt at a balanced view, perhaps feign at arguing the other side's point of view. Ultimately this wasn't an album review, merely over-zealous trash talk from someone who clearly had a bee in their bonnet.

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Lawrence
Mar 25, 2012 3:25am

This is a weak review. I thought Ritual was an absolute masterpiece, and this review is a ridiculous effort by a failed journo.

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ZappaTheEconomist
Jul 30, 2012 4:58pm

This band and their music is crap. I hate their nepotistic approach to music anyway. Their dumb drummer is a friend of Laura Marling (her father owns a music studio) and of the son of Mr Street (Blur producer complete with studio, personal connections etc). Their ascent shows how far you can get with daddy's money and/or connections, and with friends from an expensive yet useless private school. NME will always give them better ratings (they have friends there). The music they make is boring and predictable at best. The singer is on coke. Bunch of lazy kids who are members of a group of other lazy kids, which consider themselves to be creative artists, 'entrepreneurs' and performing artists just to avoid real life work and proper unis. Looking at their concert ticket and CD sales, they won't be around for long anyway. Not many people buy into this shit, no matter how much Fiction invests in them. The market is always right, manufactured bands like them have an average product life of 3-4 years.

I love the way they write defensive comments in response to objective reviews.

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ZappaTheEconomist
Jul 30, 2012 5:40pm

In reply to Ds:

True. Now, stop crying little 15 yo WL fans and listen to some authentic music.

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Nov 3, 2013 10:39pm

A brilliant iridescent band who write soaring, original deep lyrics that most women would loathe because their feeble rnb addled grey mush of cauliflower brain would grasp anything beyond Ooh baby I love you. A tooth in heavens throat, hollows like wishing wells, their lyrics are poetry and easily understood by a creative mind. A wishing well is deep like hollows of the cheeks. A moth writhing in molasses well its like someone having sex and cannot escape from the metaphorical trap of existence. Soaring arch and majestic they give you chills. You stupid stupid normal loving bint.

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Caroline
May 9, 2014 2:54pm

I arrived totally randomly on this site (because let's face it, nobody knows about it: thanks tags!!). I was looking for the meaning of Holy Ghost, that you seem to love. I will never understand the passion of some people to lose their energy talking negatively about something that they don't like...Their music is brilliant to my ears when you hear shite...well...don't bother too too much giving your opinion because I'm pretty sure nobody gives a damn

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