Pala

  • Record Label: XL
  • Release Date: May 24, 2011
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
Buy On
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    May 24, 2011
    91
    The indie dance act hits those heights [of single "Blue Cassette"] 10 more times. [27 May 2011, p.79]
  2. May 16, 2011
    90
    It seems Pala is Friendly Fires' successful attempt to translate their positivity-injected carnival live performances into a record. In the process, it just so happens they've delivered what deserves to be the soundtrack to the summer.
  3. May 24, 2011
    83
    Pala feels like a great shindig-starter, complete with wiggly, disco basslines and subtext-free lyrics like "All I want is to feel true love."
  4. Dec 9, 2011
    80
    A headlong rush of an album, Pala is accomplished, bold, and very, very danceable; everything Friendly Fires' debut promised and more.
  5. May 31, 2011
    80
    Naturally, each successive track is more feel-goody than the last; every chorus is a confessional, a burst floodgate, a pleasure in a few minutes.
  6. May 27, 2011
    80
    Pala is a party record aiming directly at the pleasure centres – not at all a shallow pursuit.
  7. May 27, 2011
    80
    It's big, it's shiny, it's unashamedly happy and we wouldn't want it any other way.
  8. May 16, 2011
    80
    It's all done with such passion that the more sugared tracks avoid the risk of boyband smoothness, and will surely blast out across barbecues and festivals this summer.
  9. May 16, 2011
    80
    Friendly Fires have already proved themselves, but this second effort is a mighty step upwards. It is another terrific, clattering celebration of an album that sounds nothing like its peers, but hopefully will be rewarded with sales to dwarf Lady Gaga's.
  10. May 16, 2011
    80
    What we have in Pala is not some great band reinvention, or some desperately profound effort; it's giant choruses, relatable lyrics, a million earworm riffs and 11 dance anthems.
  11. 80
    Big, bounteous of hook and packed with more senseless beauty than an acre of rainforest, Pala offers the sort of agreeable nonsense every good summer needs as its soundtrack.
  12. May 16, 2011
    80
    Pala is music for the here and the now, with a hedonistic samba swing and a cheeky smile – don't start worrying about tomorrow – after all, it's still a day away.
  13. May 25, 2011
    74
    Wisely, the band's sophomore effort, Pala, wastes no time submerging itself into its own indulgent environment.
  14. May 26, 2011
    70
    Ultimately, it's a comfort zone guaranteed to get bodies on the dancefloor, and it becomes difficult to argue predictability verses innovation with a drink in your hand and a groove in your step.
  15. 70
    Yeah, you could tag Pala as any number of things, but there's no arguing that this is anything but pure, unadulterated fun.
  16. May 23, 2011
    70
    I'd never advise any one to turn off their brain when listening to a record, but Friendly Fires certainly seem to encourage this. The euphoric dawn rising off their island getaway is mighty persuasive.
  17. May 23, 2011
    64
    Friendly Fires are still learning how to control their talents, but boy can they move.
  18. Q Magazine
    May 31, 2011
    60
    There is sparkling pop invention in abundance here, and, homage or not, that surely transcends any decade. [Jun 2011, p.106]
  19. 50
    For a densely layered, expertly produced dance-rock album, this second full-length from British three-piece Friendly Fires is perplexingly bland.
  20. Mojo
    May 16, 2011
    40
    This crisply produced second LP sticks rigidly to the same mandate--big beats and bigger tunes--and feels a little dated as a result. [Jun 2011, p.97]
  21. May 16, 2011
    40
    One thing is for certain: they've produced a much more pop orientated album. Clash isn't anti-pop, but we are anticheese.
  22. 40
    Friendly Fires' follow-up to their Mercury-nominated debut is a huge disappointment.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 11, 2017
    10
    Excellent album. All the tracks made me feel good. My favorite album of all time.
    I really hope they make a 3rd album. I've been waiting for
    Excellent album. All the tracks made me feel good. My favorite album of all time.
    I really hope they make a 3rd album. I've been waiting for years and I know they're not gonna dissapoint me.
    Big fan of their work
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 12, 2012
    9
    There's so much music coming at you from all directions that sometimes all behind your control you miss out on some of the good stuff. WhyThere's so much music coming at you from all directions that sometimes all behind your control you miss out on some of the good stuff. Why haven't I discovered this album during summer?! So bright, so unapologetically pop, so much fun! An unlistenable crap like Teenage Dream produces 5 #1 hits and this doesn't?! For another reference point it is also better than Cut Copy's Zonoscope, because it is preoccupied with abundant joy than contrivance. Full Review »
  3. Aug 10, 2011
    10
    Forest and Matt have got it all wrong. Track for track, the only song from "self-titled" that exceeds ANY of the songs on Pala is "Jump in theForest and Matt have got it all wrong. Track for track, the only song from "self-titled" that exceeds ANY of the songs on Pala is "Jump in the Pool". Other than that, Pala is WAYYYYYYYYY better. Better hooks, better tone, better production, better EVERYTHING. This is a definite step forward for this band. Full Review »