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iTunes Review

White Lies’ debut, To Lose My Life, was a strong effort, earning both plenty of fans and critical praise, but Ritual runs the risk of stirring the backlash pot with its clean and shiny perfection of the goth-revival sound (Killers, Interpol, etc). That said, we rally to the band’s side, and tout their mastering of the genre, their knack for dramatic crescendos built on waves of sleek, icy synths, barbed guitars and impossible to ignore dance beats ... all of which support Harry McVeigh’s impressive baritone, uncannily similar at times to the king of gothic punk, the Damned’s Dave Vanian. Yes, the Damned and Joy Division were a long time ago, but White Lies admirably do their part in keeping those bands’ spirits alive. Ritual satisfies with both MTV-ready songs for hits-seekers, and songs created with more in mind than the charts; you gotta admire the noise-scape underlying “The Power & the Glory” and the chamber-goth-meets-soul of “Peace & Quiet.” We sense stealthy evolution ahead.

Customer Reviews

No sophomore slump here!

In March '09 I drove 900 miles from Orlando to D.C. to see these guys play at The Black Cat (maybe 300 people) at the first date on their U.S. tour to support "To Lose My Life", then flew up to Chicago to see them at Lollapalooza '09 with tens of thousands. NO BAND has ever made me do that. It was something new and special that evoked real emotion with this band. Never understood why and I don't really care. Well, they are finally back with "Ritual". My first play through and I have to say, I love it. It's a good thing because I was afraid of the sophomore slump that so many bands experience. I think the shift to more electronic elements, grand sounding synths, fits them so perfectly. Can't wait to play this 500 times. Now...if they would just come to me this time...Florida mates!

Not nearly as strong as their debut album

When a sophomore album comes out, die hard fans of the band rush to the pages to vocalize how great of an album no matter what a band puts out. This is no exception. I can guarantee people will post about how this band is "maturing", how this is much better album than their debut, how the band is changing their sound, and how I should appreciate it, but I don't.

This album, to put it bluntly, is simply not as good as their debut, To Lose My Life, which was a fantastic album. This album simply lacks tracks as strong as Death, To Lose My Life, and Farewell to the Fairground. The closest thing I found to a hit on this album was Bigger than Us and possibly Bad Love due to an exceptional chorus. Other than that, the album is mediocre at best. The band seems to have replaced a live drummer for a drum machine in numerous songs such as Holy Ghost, which is a huge mistake in my opinion. The album as a whole just feels less emotional than To Lose My Life. There seems to be a lot of filler tracks on this album.

So to all the people out there like me who enjoy White Lies, but don't necessarily worship them like DJ Cliff T, I would recommend downloading BIgger Than Us and Bad Love. White Lies tries out a sound that is a tad more funky than you're used to in Is Love which is also worth a listen.


Great Sophomore album! Best songs are Bad Love, Bigger Than Us and Holy Ghost.


Formed: 2004 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A dark-edged trio hailing from London, White Lies take sonic cues from the likes of Joy Division, the Teardrop Explodes, and Echo & the Bunnymen. Indeed, the three musicians are so committed to the U.K.'s post-punk scene that they signed with Fiction Records, a Polydor imprint best known for its '80s releases by the Cure and the Associates. While attending school in West London, singer/guitarist Harry McVeigh, bassist/lyricist Charles Cave, and drummer/keyboardist Jack Lawrence-Brown formed the group...
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