Big TV - White Lies
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Aug 12, 2013
    70
    With Big TV, White Lies combine the urgent passions of their debut with the conceptual ambitions of their sophomore effort and by doing so, make the best album of their career.
  2. Aug 22, 2013
    50
    Big TV is a solid album, and it very much retains the White Lies sound. For existing fans it’s worth a listen, and it certainly won’t offend, but it probably won’t convert many new ears.
  3. Aug 20, 2013
    80
    There's a sense of make or break here, but it's clear what they deserve. [Sep 2013, p.109]
  4. Aug 7, 2013
    40
    Portentous electronic rock made for audiences that stretch out as far as the eye can see, and choruses pilfered from a mid-'80s installment of Now That's What I Call Music! [Sep 2013, p.97]
  5. Aug 13, 2013
    60
    Production detail aside, their is little tinkering with their formula. [Sep 2013, p.91]
  6. 60
    As a whole, though, the album’s overall feel is still deadeningly generic.
  7. Aug 28, 2013
    65
    White Lies' third album Big TV is very much business as usual for the London band. [Aug-Sep 2013, p.101]
  8. Aug 8, 2013
    60
    It may not have the instant appeal of To Lose A Life, but the combination of the running narrative and a host of memorable hooks make it their most consistent record to date.
  9. Aug 9, 2013
    60
    Ultimately though, what saves Big TV from mediocrity isn’t its ambition, but its hooks.
  10. Aug 8, 2013
    60
    As in the work of Simon Le Bon and Jim Kerr, an amalgam of which singer Harry McVeigh theatrically channels, dumb lyrics can be mitigated by robust anthems.
  11. 70
    Even songs in White Lies' comfort zone--namely the brooding ballad "Change," which wears its Joy Division influences proudly--feels more confident. Only the cringe-inducing "First Time Caller," whose lyrics riff on the tired "first-time caller/long-time listener" radio phrase, truly drags down Big TV. [Sep 2013, p.94]
  12. 50
    It’s full of pitch-perfect songs, but it will lead to digging for the real emotion, the heart buried somewhere at the center.
  13. Aug 16, 2013
    60
    It's a pleasant enough listen, and the hooks are plentiful, but White Lies don't appear to want to completely engage their audience in the album's prevalent, genuinely important message that contemporary success can be deceptively shallow when sought under duress.
  14. Aug 7, 2013
    70
    Despite said retro parallel, White Lies do sound like a band firmly in the present, utilising electronic samples with classic valve-driven guitar chords to accompany the trademark baritone of McVeigh.
  15. 80
    Yes, they are working with a previously-explored aesthetic, but they are molding it into a beautifully-original product, per a vision that refuses to forget music’s former greatness.
  16. Aug 7, 2013
    70
    The concept is interesting, it fits well with the sonic ambitions of the band, and for the most part it flows effectively and has good changes of timing and pace.
  17. Aug 12, 2013
    60
    For all their melodic nous, though, White Lies often sounded like the barely-not-teenagers they were; fixating on the downside, inflating everything out of all proportion.
  18. White Lies have just enough elegance and intrigue beneath the bluster to carry it off.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Aug 28, 2013
    7
    This is a band who will never amaze but satisfy. The only addition to their sound on this album is a synth that is simultaneously more 80s and verging on dubstep.And it is only an accent in some songs. Lyrical content remains the same as always. Tempo is the same as always. And it is a pleasing combination as always. Nothing abhorrent, nothing outstanding. Full Review »
  2. Apr 30, 2014
    9
    Great album, a pleasant return to the sound that gave TLML its catchy, dark melodic sound. Far better than 'Ritual' but a notch under their debut. Top album ! Full Review »
  3. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Without a doubt, the best rock album of 2013. It's filled with tons of nice laid back sounds and emotional lyrics. White Lies has crafted an album that is at least as great as their first one. Full Review »