Friendly Fires - Pala
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2011 Ratings: #349 / 968
User Score
Based on 62 ratings
2011 Ratings: #194
Liked by 1 person
May 24, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
XL / Label
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It seems Pala is Friendly Fires' successful attempt to translate their positivity-injected carnival live performances into a record.

Drowned in Sound

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.


Pala is both delightfully cheesy and embarrassingly so.

Consequence of Sound

There’s no arguing that this is anything but pure, unadulterated fun.

Nostalgia has completely eviscerated any critical thoughts I can put into this. It BOPS.
Nobody has ever played with such fierceness and certainty of their power like Friendly Fires on the album Pala, which is more perfect than the debut.

On this album, every member of the band is on GOD MODE and does everything perfectly. This album could not be played better.
The only small minus I can attribute to Hawaiian Air, but it also has its charm and it is a light rest before the outstanding Show Me Lights or Pala.

For the first, say, half of this album, I was kind of split on it. Some of the production felt a bit dated, like something I'd hear on the radio in...well, around the time it was released, which I suppose makes sense. Somewhere around track 5 or 6, though, I came around on it and started to really enjoy it. While I don't think it's the greatest alternative dance album ever released (I mean, Gorillaz and Beck exist), it's a pretty solid pop album that outshines some of its more commercial ... read more
One of the best Alternative Dance albums with a strong summery 80's vibe, amazing hooks, creative pop writing and a impressive consistency.

Live Those Days Tonight - 9.2
Blue Cassette - 8.8
Running Away - 9.5
Hawaiian Air - 9.3
Hurting - 10
Pala - 9.7
Show Me Lights - 9.6
True Love - 9.2
Pull Me Back to Earth - 9.7
Chimes - 9.8
Hurting - 10
You feel at the beach, it’s carnaval, it’s positive (Live Those Days Tonight, Show Me Lights). Even when it is a little bit depressive (Pala, Chimes, Helpless), it’s shining, there is glitter in the air (Running Away, Hurting). It’s a running without losing your breath (Hawaiian Air, Pull Me Back To Earth). Blue Cassette is perfection - « As I hear your voice it sets my heart on fire ».
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Year End Lists

#14/The Fly
#38/Under the Radar
#39/No Ripcord

Track List

  1. Live Those Days Tonight 
  2. Blue Cassette 
  3. Running Away 
  4. Hawaiian Air 
  5. Hurting 
  6. Pala 
  7. Show Me Lights 
  8. True Love 
  9. Pull Me back to Earth 
  10. Chimes 
  11. Helpless
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