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Friendly Fires' self-titled debut bowed in 2008 to much critical acclaim, bolstered by such dance-tastic singles like "Paris," "Jump in the Pool" and "Skeleton Boy" -- the latter of which has one of the coolest-looking videos I have seen in a long time. The almost-three year gap between albums has left fans of the band teeming at the bit for new material. The band played the lead single from Pala -- "Live Those Days Tonight" -- on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon back on March 23, a full two months before the album was scheduled to be released.
Pala -- much like Friendly Fires before it -- starts off with a strong four-song arc, setting a funky, dance-worthy tone for the album. As they did on their debut, the band also aims to get a few more mellow, slowed-down songs to help balance the album out. Whereas someone like me just wants Friendly Fires to go full throttle over the entire course of the album, I am still able to sit back and appreciate the overall balance -- and, thus, appeal -- of Pala. Those three years between albums were definitely worth the wait, especially if they are interrupted by lead track from Pala -- the infectious "Live Those Days Tonight."