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REVIEW: Chvrches turns a new corner in ‘Love is Dead’

Chvrches is taking their retro meets modern brand of melodic synth-pop to a whole new level in their new LP Love is Dead

Scottish synth pop super stars Chvrches have definitely been working their way from the bottom all the way to the top. Their third studio LP Love is Dead within moments of being put on shows that much.

Where the trio’s first two albums had been independently produced, this time around they had Greg Kurstin and some extra help from former half of The EurythmicsDavid Stewart and Matt Berninger from The National.

This time Chvrches opted to write their lyrics regarding topics that a wider audience would be able to grasp onto and relate to rather than the kinds of introspective lyrics they had previously written.

Musically, the overall tone of the album is more pop oriented than their previous releases. The band describes it, saying it is:

“the most pop stuff we’ve done and also the most aggressive and vulnerable at the same time”

“Miracle” while still maintaining the band’s signature style seems to have some serious Imagine Dragons vibes in the chorus. It has that gigantic, echoing, heavy synth bass style that is associated with the “Radioactive” singing band.

It is no surprise that “Miracle” was picked for a single.

“My Enemy” features Berninger on guest vocals. It has a soft, brushing, more ballad-like feel in the verses that Berninger sings on. Gradually though the song builds up in intensity with Lauren Mayberry taking over the choruses, but then it dies back down again afterward.

It’s sort of an up and down kind of ride that leaves one anticipating a huge break that never comes. However, that is part of the beauty of it. It does not give what is expected of it, yet still delivers something beautiful.

While the retro 80’s synth pop vibe shows through in many places on Love is Dead, one place it seems to show up most prevalent is in “Really Gone”.

It has this slow, lightly pulsing, echo-like feel that makes it feel as thought it could have been in the soundtrack to virtually any 80’s sci-fi or fantasy film. Heck, it could have even shown up in some teen films.

While long time Chvrches fans might not care for the new lyrical direction the band seems to be taking, the composition of the tracks is still something to be admired. Whether it is straight up retro 80’s or a completely new musical odyssey, Love is Dead has something that will appeal to just about anyone.

Rating: 3.4/5

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Listen: Chvrches Love is Dead

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