Friendly Fires – Pala
Summer is in full swing by the first notes of this sophomore effort of the Friendly Fires called Pala. The single, “Live Those Days Tonight”, a thick groove as featured on the CD, will surely be remixed to fit dance floors all over UK and America. While 80’s keys and tribal percussion sounds feel like a continuation of their 2008 debut, Ed MacFarlane’s vocals sound a bit better this time around. The track, “Hurting”, injects a bit more R&B in the dance party and is a welcome switch by the record’s midpoint. The title track takes the pop/R&B route and bring the tempo down to a slow groove; the song’s instrumental section reminding me of the band, Telefon Tel Aviv, circa 2004. The funky slap percussion of, “Show Me Lights”, brings the dance party right back. Soon after, the percolating rhythm rising to the chorus hook of, “Pull Me Back To Earth”, hits a sweet spot that you know it has to be an upcoming single. Pala ends by bringing the R&B back with, “Helpless”. This is indeed no sophomore slump.