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Being ridiculously over-the-top yet earnestly plausible is the key to stadium rock. Confidence buoyed by two hit albums, White Lies almost pull it off on Big TV. The over-the-topness chiefly resides in deep-voiced singer Harry McVeigh, intoning ripe lyrics in the declamatory manner of one stationed at the font of truth.
“If you have forgotten your precious mother tongue, what do you think your mother would say of what you’ve done?” he orates; the sentiment would usually invite a baffled shake of the head, but in this context – explosive power riffs, muscular bass – you can’t help nodding along. Meanwhile reverb, splashy synths and big drums invoke the 1980s, era of overblown earnestness.
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