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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2008
Been keeping tabs on Friendly Fires since hearing 'Paris' a year ago and saw them at Reading last month. Theres something about a band that not only knows how to use a cowbell but mixes styles - dance/house beats, 80's style singalong choruses,indie tunes that make you want to get up and dance along.

This is no nu-rave knock off, this is a band clearly having fun and mixing great style tempos doing their own thing. Definately check this band out as not only are they great live (Flaming Lips fun with streamers, tickertape etc) Buy this album as it is a gem. Go on 'Jump in the pool' with Friendly Fires, you won't want to get out for a while!
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on 29 September 2009
This isn't a review of the music, ok? (the music get 3 stars, incidently). It's a call for the 're-issued with bonus CD' nonsense to stop. I've bought this album once, when it came out last year, so why oh why is it out with all these lovely extras for less than what i paid for mine, which, by the way, is next to worthless because of this 'new' version. So, should one want all the tracks, they're asking the honest, paying public, to fork out again? Get lost!!!
If the bonus CD has more than 4 songs on it then they should be made to sell it as a separate release as well, for a very small price, so that the people that bought it early aren't ripped off.

If you agree that bonus tracks/CDs need to be regulated in some way and think, like me, that the record companies have a real nerve to do this then click 'YES' to useful review. Ta.
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on 17 January 2010
When I first saw Friendly Fires on Jools Holland all those moons ago, I was mesmerized by Ed's hips and of course the music. After seeing them play the Glasgow ABC in May (which was my second best gig of the year), I just had to purchase the expanded album.

General Contents

Disk 1 - Friendly Fires Album
Disk 2 Side 1 - Remixes and Unreleased tracks, Side 2 - Live at the London Forum, Music Videos


The sleeve gives the album a nice touch as on the normal version it didn't really shout out that this is a friendly fires album. I would have prefered to have had three disks instead of two as when using the double-sided disk there is more risk of scratching. The sleevenotes are a bit plain with no lyrics. 9/10


The album itself is a cool, funky 80's inspired music fest with highlights being 'Jump In The Pool', 'Skeleton Boy' and 'Paris'. However, all the songs on this are gems and the album itself is worth five stars. The second CD is also great, with the single 'Kiss of Life' and unreleased tracks 'Relationships' and 'Bored Of Each Other'. The remixes are well-balanced and give a fresh approach to the album. 10/10


I was really pleased with the DVD. The Live at the London Forum is fantastic. The camera work is good, the sound is sharp and clear and it flows well. The music videos are essentials really but they are really good quality. 10/10

Overall, the expanded album is worth every penny which by the way, is good value for money. Even the little bit of annoyance over the disks is totally outshined with the contents and presentation of it. Go Buy It, Right Now!

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on 25 November 2008
I ruddy love Friendly Fires, to the point where I probably love them a little too much. This album is full of track after track of fantastic electro beats and is full of meaty, funk bass. And I totally love heavy bass. If you liked 'Paris' and 'Lovesick' you really ought to get this album to hear the brilliance of 'Photobooth' and 'White Diamonds'. Honestly, this band is way ahead of the pack and every time I listen to them I just want to dance around like a total fool.
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on 2 May 2010
The Audio CD is unquestionably one of the great CD's of 2008/9.

Having read recent reviews about the DVD being 10/10 I can only laugh. I went to the London Forum concert in May 2009 where this DVD was filmed and it was of the best concerts I have ever experienced - euphoric, edgy, enjoyable - you felt like you were at the forefront of the zeitgeist by being there.

The DVD that accompanies this CD is a diabolically bad record of that great event. 1/10

First of all the DVD is filmed in a bizarre ultra narrow 8:3 letterbox format, with the top third and bottom third of the screen not even used. This 8:3 letterbox then has two 4:3 images simultaneously shown on the left and the right. very annoying and completely ruins the enjoyment of what was a really impressive lighting show with lasers. Furthermore, the camaera keeps moving to strange views that you don't want to see. Apalling editing throughout - truly dismal. What on earth was the editor of this DVD thinking??

Sound is poor too - only recorded and mixed here in Dolby 2.0 stereo so you get none of the sense of atmosphere of the concert (around 95%) of music concert dvd's are eoncoded in Dolby 5.1 for this very reason so if you have a home theatre system you can truly get the true live experience. i wouldn't mind if it was just in stereo if it was good quality stereo - but it's a very flat and undynamic sound.

The Live DVD is a travesty of what was a great concert, and reall does Friendly Fires no favours. they are extremely good live - go and see them if you get the chance.
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on 8 November 2008
Friendly Fires has to be one of the albums of the year. It's not been a great year for fresh stuff. Just roll out dreary old Oasis with the same old same old and then FF appear. It's not anything new but it is exciting for today. You can see that they love what they do. There are not any poor songs on the album so I'll have to discuss the outstanding ones. How about "Paris"? Forward thinking, future going to be great fun stuff! "On Board" fun. Right, forget all this reviewing stuff!! They are great songs that you will want to sing and dance to. End of! Go on, buy it!
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on 15 October 2009
When i got this, it had a sticker on it saying 'Zane Lowe - "The soundtrack to your Summer"' and it completely was. I love this album, full of punky, funky rhythms and syncopated beats. It's brilliant, although I do love 'Ex-Lover' slightly less than the rest of the album. but don't let that put you off.
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Someone must be putting something in the water in Hertfordshire.

Hatfield gave birth to Enter Shikari not too many turns of the moon ago.

Now it is the turn of St Albans with the appearance of a splendid
little ensemble : Messrs MacFarlane, Savidge and Gibson, collectively
(and for as long as they are destined to be) known as Friendly Fires.

The ten tracks which comprise their eponymous debut make a
strong statement. The eighties have clearly left their mark on
these young and impressionable minds.

Mr Prince would appear to have been cited by some as an influence
although I could not detect the small purple one's presence myself.
The Thompson Twins and Orange Juice came to mind on more than
one occasion but it seems unlikely that these young gentlemen are
old enough ever to have heard of them, let alone absorb their style.
That this is a projection of my own is far more probable.

The melodies are strong, the basslines and percussion limber
and often almost danceable.

(Has anyone else noticed how men over forty always
dance with their hands in the air ?).

'On Board' with its funky polyrhythmic ambience
grabs you by the throat in an upbeat and friendly manner.

So too the slap-bass, percussion and synth led party
that is 'Lovesick'. Mr MacFarlane's fluid falsetto gives
Daryl Hall a run for his money - with less wrinkles and
a more sensible haircut.

'Jump In The Pool', with its delicious harmonies and exuberant,
cacophonous energy is a particularly strong highpoint.

So too 'In The Hospital' - more 'Car Wash' than clinic
and all the better for it.

'Photobooth' is a personal favorite for little other reason
than it had all four of my paws tapping at once.

'Ex Lover' rounds things off splendidly with its slightly
off-kilter and elusive melody.

Methinks St Albans has every reason to be proud.

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on 28 May 2009
Jump In The Pool is a great song, and one of the best tunes I've heard this year. In three and a half minutes they combine big rock drums, a beautiful synth solo, a nigh-on transcendent climax and gratuitous Rio carnival percussion - you just can't argue with something like that. The second track starts off with a vocal melody which snuck off the side of a Michael Jackson album before being blown wide open by a David Byrne chorus, which is nothing if not fun. The third track is good, the fourth is alright, but by this stage diminishing returns are starting to set in, not to mention the growing feeling that you may have somehow stumbled into a VH1 80s weekend. When Lovesick comes around, two thirds of the way through the album, the sparkle and invention of the opening song has been replaced with something too turgid and unoriginal to be much fun. If Friendly Fires could have kept up their opening promise, this album would have been so much better.
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on 30 November 2008
This is a bona fide pop/dance classic. FF hark back to the 80's..the best parts..and you won't be disappointed if you enjoyed the early career-defining albums of Prince/Eurthymics/Thompson Twins/Spandau(early singles)Heaven 17. Add-in some Parachutes Coldplay and some chiming,exciting guitar work and you've got the best confection I've heard for a long,long time.
It's the kind of album that makes you want to shout from the rooftops for everyone to take time out to listen,dance and enjoy.
I don't know what else FF could do to make a classic debut...they could be prettier?...from NYC?...have celebrity girlfriends?......but that's just the fluff that would get them a Red Top audience.
I hope they can make a great living while making great music.
Get them while they're a relative 'secret' and bask in the reflected glory of discovering their cool debut CD.
They're great.
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