16 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Friendly Fires’ 2008 eponymous debut introduced a promising band with an uncanny knack for songwriting, but it also revealed the them as genre neophytes, trying on bygone musical styles like vintage clothing. With Pala, the Hertfordshire, England–based trio solidify their sound. Over a dance-punk foundation, Friendly Fires trim their tunes with trace elements of disco, soul, dream-pop, and post-punk. The instantly winsome “Live Those Days Tonight” opens, pulsing on cosmopolitan dance-pop. Without reverting to retro rehash, the tune recalls moments of neon brilliance last heard in 1986. The following “Blue Cassette” starts like an early Daft Punk outtake before unraveling into a gigantic swooning anthem where the band somehow fuses a '80s New Romantic–flavored chorus with verses enveloped in electro-pop. This creates a well-oiled machine of innovative, kinetic dance music loaded to the gills with pop hooks. “Hurting” is another solid standout, where glossy disco rhythms and blue-eyed soul melodies braid together. “Pull Me Back to Earth” remains festive amid its gauzy soundscapes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Friendly Fires’ 2008 eponymous debut introduced a promising band with an uncanny knack for songwriting, but it also revealed the them as genre neophytes, trying on bygone musical styles like vintage clothing. With Pala, the Hertfordshire, England–based trio solidify their sound. Over a dance-punk foundation, Friendly Fires trim their tunes with trace elements of disco, soul, dream-pop, and post-punk. The instantly winsome “Live Those Days Tonight” opens, pulsing on cosmopolitan dance-pop. Without reverting to retro rehash, the tune recalls moments of neon brilliance last heard in 1986. The following “Blue Cassette” starts like an early Daft Punk outtake before unraveling into a gigantic swooning anthem where the band somehow fuses a '80s New Romantic–flavored chorus with verses enveloped in electro-pop. This creates a well-oiled machine of innovative, kinetic dance music loaded to the gills with pop hooks. “Hurting” is another solid standout, where glossy disco rhythms and blue-eyed soul melodies braid together. “Pull Me Back to Earth” remains festive amid its gauzy soundscapes.

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