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Chvrches – Love Is Dead

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, May 29, 2018.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    For Chvrches’ third album, Love is Dead, they turned to veteran producer Greg Kurstin (Tegan & Sara, Foo Fighters) to help them craft their most memorable effort to date. Since forming in 2011, the synth-pop group has taken over the indie music scene with multiple prominent festival appearances and two well-received albums. Their fanbase was incredibly eager to hear what Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty had cooked up for the next chapter in their story.

    On Love is Dead, Chvrches have accomplished the rare feat of staying true to their original sound, while still adding even more nuance and creativity into this final product. In an era where artists get blamed for either not changing enough from album to album, or for changing too much, Chvrches have found the perfect balance of experimenting with new sounds and song structures, while still staying honest to who they are as a band.

    Starting off the LP with “Graffiti” helps kick off the album on a shiny, bright, note with the familiar sound of synths opening the track followed by Mayberry’s familiar and dynamic vocal range belting out in the chorus that: “We wrote our names along the bathroom walls/Graffitiing our hearts across the stalls/I’ve been waiting my life to grow old/And now we never will.” It’s almost as if Chvrches were able to pick up right where they left off on Every Open Eye, only to improve on every aspect of their songwriting and strengths.

    The first single released from the album, “Get Out,” cranks up the volume even more than they had in the previous two efforts, and rocks with a greater sense of urgency as the band takes full advantage of their opportunity to pull the listener in with every beat. “Deliverance” follows this brilliant single with religious themes and metaphors as Mayberry cautions: “Careful when you’re swimmin’ in the holy water/Drowning in your own beliefs/Careful when you’re standing at a broken altar/Asking if we feel relief.” The depth that Mayberry and crew go into this album with not only the lyrical content, but overall song structures, are impressive for a band who has always prided themselves on putting out the best that they are capable of.

    A surprise collaboration with The National’s Matt Beringer is a nice change of pace from the rest of the content on Love is Dead, as Mayberry and Beringer play off of each other’s vocal styles brilliantly on “My Enemy.” This brooding track is one of the many highlights found on this album and one can only hope that the success of this LP only further helps with the band’s confidence as they move forward in their career.

    The general theme of loss and moving on are apparent on several tracks on this album, and they are never more powerful than on tracks such as “Forever” where Mayberry notes: “I’d never ask you why you need me/And you will never see my side.” These lyrics are easy to relate to and only helps with getting their audience to feel the emotion and power behind each of these songs.

    The second half of the album features the second main single released from the album, “Miracle,” which shows Mayberry at not only her most vulnerable, but also at her most confident as an artist. She experiments with her trademark falsetto in the verses and an electronic-tinged lower registered chorus. The risks that Mayberry, Cook and Doherty take on this album are well worth it, as it only enhances the overall quality and variety of the album as a whole.

    The self-reflection found on “Heaven/Hell” showcases the depth of Chvrches songs and the complexity of growing up in the spotlight. It also features some of the most impressive vocal range in Mayberry’s young career with a soaring chorus. “God’s Plan” allows for Doherty to take the reins on the lead vocals, with Mayberry carefully placing backing vocals to layer the sound of the haunting track. Doherty is more than capable of leading the charge, as he has previously shown on Chvrches other two albums, and launches yet another memorable song into their catalog.

    The instrumental track “ii” is the first Chvrches track to not feature any sung vocals, with only a few barely audible spoken words injected into the track. This all builds up to the final song “Wonderland,” that provides the listener with closure on the story told throughout the album and remaining optimistic about the future.

    Chvrches have released a sure-fire hit on their third album, and one can only hope they continue to challenge themselves as they have done here, to create even more brilliant works of art in the future. In the end, Chvrches have accomplished the rare feat of building upon their early career success, stayed true to their core sound, while still experimenting with new sounds and ideas to present an album worthy of lasting in your regular rotation. With so many great releases already in 2018, Chvrches have done more than enough to stay well in the conversation of an early album of the year candidate. Love may be dead, but long live Chvrches.

  2. Analog Drummer


    Cracking album from the Scots
    CMilliken likes this.
  3. theredline

    Trusted Supporter

    It’s a great album.
  4. VCargo08


    I can't understand how anyone feels anything but bored by this album. Cookie-cutter and repetitive, and they actually start a song with "ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies." I understand that this site tilts more toward pro-poppiness (the generally positive reviews of the UO album, for example) but a glowing review as though this isn't just generic electronic pop is so confusing to me.
  5. I think it’s weird to be confused by opinions about music. But that’s just me.
  6. I'm loving this record, at least the first half (haven't dug into the second half as much). Lauren is writing some of her best choruses here.
  7. Liz

    Ew, David

    What's wrong with starting a song with "ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies"? (genuine question)
    Analog Drummer likes this.
  8. sebastianrcgr


    an album doesn’t have to sound heavy for it to be a good album... and this “site that tilts towards pro poppiness”, they gave high scores for their back-catalog so I’m not sure what you’re on about.

    enjoying the album, ‘Forever’ is such a fun song to listen to, glad they’re playing it on tour.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  9. transrebel59


    Have they improved live? I've seen them 3 times and was incredibly disappointed each time but I could see them improving slightly with each tour.
  10. tyramail

    Trusted Supporter

    As someone who only knows a few songs prior to this album, I’m obsessed. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this.
    Analog Drummer likes this.
  11. VCargo08


    It's low-hanging fruit, and about as cliche as songwriting gets. There are a lot of words in the english language and Lauren isn't a bad writer, so taking someone else's insanely popular phrase is a bit lazy.
  12. Unless she purposefully relied on cliches to make the songwriting more accessible? I think either way that's an assumption and a weird thing to get hung up on.
    theredline likes this.