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  • Pala
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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£10.47+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 15 July 2011
After being blown away by the first album and seeing a few tracks off this album performed live, I thought this album would be amazing. However, all the infectious energy of the live performances have been replaced with slick studio wizardry and the result is not particularly satisfying. Compare the Glastonbury 2011 version of Hawaiian Air to it's studio counterpart and you'll hear what I mean. The raw energy of the drums and guitar on the debut have been replaced with preset synth tones and sequencers. The creativity on the debut album showed a band brimful of ideas, with every track an aural surprise, whereas most of the tracks here sound like Maroon 5 or something. Also, the evident sense of fun, joy and humour on the first album has mostly been replaced here with a ponderous, pretentious seriousness.

That isn't to say there aren't any good tracks. Live Those Days Tonight is a good opener, Hawaiian Air offers some much needed lush melodic variety, Pull Me Back To Earth hints at FF of old and Pala (slower in tempo) offers a much needed change of pace.

But it's still too safe this album.

Looks like they're going for commercial success and not artistic glory after all.....

I thoroughly recommend the debut album though, it is stunning! Not least because it actually sounds like a unique, vibrant band. 'Pala' on the other hand sounds like any number of mainstream dance/pop acts that you'd find on commercial radio. If that's your bag then you'll love the album. I personally prefer to listen to music that dares to be different. LIKE THE FIRST ALBUM!!!

Did I mention I REALLY like their first album?
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on 30 May 2011
This is an Album of 'Retro-Pop' songs and sounds; a kind of 'Tears for Fears' meets 'Duran Duran' in a Club owned by 'Howard Jones'. And to my ears; this is a good thing. Nostalgia with a refreshingly modern twist. Foot tapping tunes, that make you feel happy. No real bad tracks on the Album, maybe 'Hurting' is a bit run of the mill. Recommended.
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on 22 May 2011
I'm going to start this review by stating how much I loved the debut album of Friendly Fires. Their sound was an amalgamation of all my favourite genres, rock, pop, funk, punk, dance and most importantly subtle hints of shoe-gazing in the lush guitar layers on most tracks. The album was packed with variety and killer songs with at least three instant classics in the form of Paris, Skeleton Boy and Jump in the Pool. All of which brings us to 'Pala' so named in reference to the doomed Utopian island of an Aldous Huxley novel. The album starts promisingly with opener and lead single 'Live Those Days Tonight' and 'Blue Cassette' both sporting euphoric choruses built from pulsing verses. Sadly the albums quality takes a steep decline from here. There is little to distinguish each song from the next, forgettable melodies are bulked out with unusual guitar and synthesizer effects. One of the few tracks to stand out from the remaining nine only succeeds in doing so by its slow pace. Nearly every track on the album has an identical tempo and rhythm which leads to a very uninteresting listen. If I had to single out any standout tracks to download I'd recommend the first two definitely and at a push 'Show Me Lights' which grabs your attention with its combination of hard hitting percussion and layered vocals.
To be honest after listening to this album I've come to harsh realization that it sounds as if an 80s pub tribute band have been ill advisedly encouraged to record their own material in a studio. It hurts to say that because at their best Friendly Fires sound celestial as evidenced on pretty much all of the first album and the first two tracks of 'Pala' but for the majority of this album they sound dull and worst of all earth bound.
This album really deserves 2 out of 5 stars but I just can't do that to Friendly Fires. Here's hoping on the third........
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on 9 October 2013
Great CD with great tunes - I often listen to it on the way to football games - but the case was more fragile than Abou Diaby and fell apart instantly.
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on 8 July 2011
Title of review says it all really; not as much depth as Delphic, not as joyous as Fenech Soler, but still great from start to finish
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on 19 September 2011
Good album, really quick delivery service, product arrived in good condition. Album is quite 'dancey' but still a good indie album.
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on 25 July 2011
I was a big fan of their 2008 Eponymous Album and their raw energy live on stage was great to see in Person towards the latter years of the previous decade.

Fast forward to 2011 and Friendly Fires bring us Pala. This is a much more polished sound with ode's to yesteryear such as Hall and Oates (Hurting, Show Me Lights), Old Skool Rave (Live Those Days tonight) to turn of the millennium euphoric Dance DJ singles (Chimes, Blue Cassette). Some Hipsters here might not like that Friendly Fires lack the Raw sound of their debut and Pala does use less guitar strings, but personally I believe Pala to be a step in the right direction. To sum up Pala, it's a Kaleidoscope of Fun, Energetic summer sounds perfect for a summer drive or chilling out and partying by the poolside in an exotic resort and the guys from St. Albans want the party to start.

An almost perfect album if the lyrics were a bit more positive instead of being too focused on reminising lost love's.

Album Highlights:
Live Those Days Tonight
Blue Cassette
Hawaiian Air
Show me Lights
True Love
Pull me back to earth
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on 8 June 2011
Ok, just so you know where i'm coming from i loved the 1st album. Listened to it countless times and think it still sounds great today. All killer no filler. So i was really looking forward to this and got it on pre-order.

But my title says it all. Its a let down. The 1st track is about the only one that is anywhere near the standard of the 1st album, but only just. And its downhill from there. As another reviewer mentioned the upbeat tracks tend to all blur into one insipid blandness, with simalar tempos and no catchiness. And the less said about some of the boy band esque slower ones the better. Plus some of the lyrics are horrendous.

I've tried i promise - i've endured it in full several times, and on coming on here to write this and seeing all the positive reviews i thought maybe i was mistaken so it got a final chance, but i'm afraid, no, its not for me.

Hopefully they prove me wrong with a 3rd album but i certainly won't be getting it on pre-order!

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on 15 July 2011
After the success of the first album I was really looking forward to this one. When they released 'Live Those Days Tonight' it added to the anticipation. I hoped the album would have more like he single and I even bought two copies cos I was sure I'd be playing it at home and in the car. I played it in the car and nothing grabbed me as most first listens to most albums do. Then I listened again at home and kept playing it to see if anything else stood out. Before I knew I was just skipping it to find a decent track but nothing stood out. I'd played the single to death and the rest lacked the feeling of the first album as well as any of the catchy hooklines that made the first album brilliant. So, they're both now gathering dust and I've dismissed it as a real case of second album syndrome. So, if you're buying this on the strength of the first single then don't bother. If you're buying it cos you like Hawaiian Air then you might be in with a better chance. As for my two copies, I'm sure they'll double up as nice coasters.
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on 25 June 2011
Really good album!
People have been describing this as the 'sound of the summer' so didnt know what to expect. However, I will have to agree with them.
Thankyou amazon for 'MP3 of the week!!!'
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