Morrissey obsessive would scrawl in the back of a textbook before resorting tolashings and lashings of self-harm and the music sounds more pompous than Colonel Pompous of the2nd Battalion Pompous Division.
But what totally nails White Lies’ coffin shut is their depressing predictable placement in everysingle one of those ‘Sound Of 2009’ lists. You know, the ones which chastise the unwary readerfor daring to presume that they might want to make some sort of unilateral decision using, Idon’t know, their ears about what they might want to listen to over the following 364days, without having their opinions filtered through 47 focus groups like some kind ofcritical charcoal.
However, lest we drown in this sea of negativity, there is some fun to be had here. But asidefrom Unfinished Business (still their best song, and the sole instance where they appear to beenjoying this just a little bit), it’s fun along the lines of ‘how many tracks on To Lose MyLife can you sing Vienna along to without anyone noticing the difference’.
To which the correct answer is five. Nothing To Give is, of course, disqualified as it’s soindistinguishable from its soundalike that even Midge Ure couldn’t tell them apart.
So then. White Lies, the first dark hope of 2009, fail. To Lose My Life is an album made to a predefined plan with skill and no heart. It’s depressingfor all the wrong reasons. Like your parents no doubt once said, don’t tell lies. Even littlewhite ones.