Friendly Fires - Pala

by Lewis Shepherd Rating:6 Release Date:2011-05-16

When Friendly Fires first burst onto the mainstream music scene with their debut album Friendly Fires, they were full of promise, toured the festival scene and garnered numerous award nominations including one for the coveted Mercury Music Prize. Well, now they're back with their follow up album Pala, which has already debuted 15 places higher than their previous album on the UK top 40, coming in at number six.

The album borrows its name from the Aldous Huxley novel Island, which tells the story of a journalist shipwrecked on the fictitious utopian society-wielding island of Pala, and it definitely lives up to its namesake with its chilled out, dance friendly vibe. The first two songs on Pala, the lead single 'Live Those Days Tonight' and 'Blue Cassette' are most definitely the stand-out tracks of the album. With their vibrant, alternative indie disco dance beat, they sound as though they would fit right in on an episode of Skins (which isn't necessarily a bad thing if they were featured on one of the first two series), and will definitely be highlights at their next set of live shows.

However, after these two high-energy songs open the album you feel almost a little let down as the it continues. Don't get me wrong the album is very good and enjoyable to listen to, but after a while you feel as though the remaining songs all blend in to one, not allowing you to differentiate between them. After the band's first effort in 2008, you feel as though a fair bit of this album is a little lacklustre in places and it probably won't be shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize.

But all that said, the album is still enjoyable in places and the first two tracks definitely make it worth a listen, and with summer coming up it would make a great album to chill out to in the back garden or a fictional island, you decide.

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