Album of the Week: CHVRCHES, 'Love Is Dead'


CHVRCHES, 'Love Is Dead'
CHVRCHES, 'Love Is Dead' (Courtesy of Glassnote)
Mac Wilson - Album of the Week: CHVRCHES, 'Love Is Dead'
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CHVRCHES' new album 'Love Is Dead' is getting attention for its attempt at broadening the band's sound, bringing in an outside megaproducer in a stab for greater stardom. But at its core, 'Love Is Dead' displays many of the attributes that made CHVRCHES a compelling act from the start, and follows the same pattern - for better and worse - as their previous two albums.

For the addition of Greg Kurstin to the mix, CHVRCHES still largely rely on their trusty formula of compelling synth lines from Iain Cook and Martin Doherty supporting the captivating vocals of Lauren Mayberry. Kurstin may crank up the knobs a bit on tracks like "Miracle," but for the most part, any of these songs could be slotted onto one of the band's other two albums and they'd fit in. I should stress that a band following a formula is fine! A few weeks ago, I sang the praises of Beach House, a band that has been grinding away on the same basic treads for more than a decade, yet finds new and compelling avenues each time around. While CHVRCHES aren't quite as successful as Beach House in crafting unique album personalities out of a singular, signature sound, it's worth stressing that a band sounding like itself shouldn't be considered a demerit.

The gist of every CHVRCHES album thus far is the same: open with a pair of "bangers," either of which could conceivably serve as a lead single, followed by a couple more compelling up-tempo tracks, before peaking with track #5. There's a bit of a cooldown, before track #7 serves as another clear single candidate. From there, it's a collection of pleasant tunes of varying catchiness, with at least one guaranteed to be sung by Martin Doherty. This is a paragraph that could be applied to any of the three CHVRCHES albums, and holds true with 'Love Is Dead'.

CHVRCHES are definitely at the "poppier" end of the Current's spectrum, but for anyone who enjoys well-crafted, engaging songs, 'Love Is Dead' will be an instant favorite.


CHVRCHES - Official Site

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