Fate Under Fire’s fate is increasingly brighter with each new release and “La La Love” is a more than worthy successor to their earlier hit singles “On the Water” and “Parachute”. The former track proved to be a particular favorite of MTV and won their Freshman Five award while the accompanying videos for each of the band’s singles likewise prove that an intense visual sense accompanies their considerable musical skills. The band’s two EP releases thus far are also a critical reason for why the band has been able to place so much of their music with important film and television productions while singer/songwriter David James has been tapped to produce the theme music for the weekend edition of NBC’s The Today Show. These laurels, however, haven’t curtailed the band’s desire to continue pushing their compositional and performing talents into new realms and their latest single amply demonstrates how far they’ve come.
They definitely come across with the kind of confidence we expect to hear from bands that are a decade or more into their run. It comes through in both the vocal and musical arrangement but, ultimately, it boils down to an intangible feel extending far past the fundamentals and into something more mysterious called inspiration. Fate Under Fire sounds emboldened by skill and experience with the song “La La Love” and it has an irrepressible rush from the first that carries you away without ever seeming purple or straining too much for effect. There are no traditional instrumental breaks or solos in “La La Love” – instead, Fate Under Fire plays as a unit committed to getting the song over with audiences sans any phony virtuoso trips. It’s a laudable goal and they clear that particular bar with plenty of room to spare, wrapping the song up in an impressive three minutes eighteen seconds and never leaving me feel cheated by the seeming brevity.
This is definitely a band playing as one, but there’s no question that singer/songwriter David James’ hand is shaping much of Fate Under Fire’s potential and final legacy. His talents have propelled the band through two EP releases and some successful singles, but he shows no signs of slowing down with “La La Love”. Instead, it sounds like James, as both a vocalist and a songwriter, is peaking more and more with each new effort, increasingly sure of himself as both a performer and artist. There’s no question that this young performer writes and performers not out of any simple or complicated want, but rather out of sheer need, and the stakes seem high here despite the entertaining sheen setting the song apart from the pack. Fate Under Fire’s “La La Love” is a brilliant example of gripping modern pop and a new high water mark for this California band that they’ll likely surpass soon with the sort of talent at their disposal.