Friday, 10 July 2009

96: White Lies - Death

The first 2009 song to appear in this countdown is this 5 minute epic from Ealing's newcomers to the alternative scene, White Lies. The first British band to hit #1 in the album charts during 2009, White Lies originally released 'Death' last autumn without much success, but it hit #17 when it was re-released a month ago.

From the instant I heard 'Death', I fell in love with the song. Harry McVeigh's 'doom and gloom' vocal is accompanied by a slowly building riff and rhythm, until it bursts into life at the end of the song's bridge. Of course, the song is most easily recognisable for its chorus lyric "this fear's got a hold on me". However, the lyrics in the verse and bridge are well constructed, and allow listeners to draw their own conclusions as to the meaning. Personally, I subscribe to the theory that the lyrics are about a fear of flying (which, coincidentally, was the band's original name), but specifically, the lyrics are ambiguous enough to not only relate to aviophobia, but also to a fear of falling in love, or worse, of falling out of love.

Finally, I defy you to find me a more powerful lyric thus far in 2009 than "I live on the right side, I sleep on the left, that's why everything's got to be alive or dead".

Fact fans: eight of the ten songs on the album 'To Lose My Life' feature the words 'die', 'dead', 'death', 'died' or 'deceased' in their lyrics.

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