Released: 18th February 2022
After the tsunamis of reverb and glistening production of their early albums, White Lies appear to have found a new groove by stripping back atmospherics and upping the complexity of their compositions. While it didn’t return them to the chart success they enjoyed starting out, 2019’s ‘Five’ showed the trio flexing their muscles musically, the epic opener ‘Time to Give’ hinting at increasingly proggy tendencies.
‘As I Try Not to Fall Apart’ continues down this road, with bassist Charles Cave indulging in his love of funk basslines on tracks like ‘Breathe’, and the band taking on shifting song structures. Lyrically the record captures the anxieties of modernity, veering from the dangers of technology (Internet bad?) to a welcome skewering of the tech-bro space race on ‘I Don’t Want to Go To Mars’.
Mid-album shapeshifter ‘Roll December’ is the highlight, twisting and turning with an assault of analogue synths and in-your-face guitar crunch from the unmistakable Harry McVeigh, whose booming baritone is as imposing as ever. ‘The End’ slows things down to a spaced-out drone that nods at Robert Smith, before a final burn through ‘There Is No Cure For It’, which takes in gentle piano, hushed vocals and a sultry saxophone buried in the mix before erupting into arena guitars.
Having perhaps accepted that recapturing their late-00s hype is beyond their control, White Lies are happier pushing their creative capacity with new styles and arrangements.