CHVRCHES – ” Love is Dead “

Posted: June 4, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

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There’s a lot about letting go on the group’s latest, Love Is Dead: of old grudges, of toxic relationships, even of hesitation about honestly expressing oneself. For all the venting of psychic turbulence, Love Is Dead has a joyfully defiant feel, as if singer Lauren Mayberry is busily converting all the negativity in her life into sparkling, irrepressible pop melodies. The catharsis starts on album opener “Graffiti” as Mayberry lifts her voice in a soaring refrain that is at once effervescent and wistful on lyrics about leaving behind the promise, and also the folly, of youthful love.

Scottish electro-pop trio Chvrches favors self-reliance, producing its own albums and eschewing outside collaboration. While that has resulted in two excellent albums to date, it’s also limiting. For number three, the group enlisted outside producers, primarily Greg Kurstin (Pink, Katy Perry, Sia). He helmed nine tracks, with producer-composer Steve Mac (Ed Sheeran, Pink) producing one, and Chvrches handling the others. But whatever magic the outsiders contributed simply amplified what was already there: The songs sound bigger and more layered, but the core of hook-laden, synth-based pop and Lauren Mayberry’s lilting vocals remains undisturbed. Maybe the producers brought bloat? At 13 songs, Love Is Dead goes a little long, particularly as it slows toward the end. Chvrches also made curious choices for pre-release singles. The Matt Berninger-assisted “My Enemy” is a bit sleepy, and “Get Out” isn’t as good as the songs around it. Listeners unmoved by those should check out the rest of the album.

“Graffiti” provides the best example of producer-boosted Chvrches, with big, fat synths, a hugely catchy chorus, and an intro that nods to the band’s breakthrough song, “The Mother We Share.”

Band Members
Iain Cook,
Martin Doherty,
Lauren Mayberry
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