CHVRCHES
Love Is Dead


1.5
very poor

Review

by DropTune USER (65 Reviews)
June 1st, 2018 | 16 replies


Release Date: 05/25/2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Love is Dead is nothing if not bland and unoriginal.

Every Open Eye went on to be one of 2015’s defining albums. We had no reason to assume their follow up would be anything less. In fact, I doubt any listener eagerly waiting its namedrop was even thinking the frightful “what if” question. Earlier this year, Lauren Mayberry accidently slipped the title into an interview. After listening to the album, I almost wish the interview wasn’t the only thing deleted. Love is Dead, if nothing else, is a simple and predictable pop album. Stepping away from the empowering and unwavering statements of years past, CHVRCHES aims to settle for a palatable and diluted approach in an attempt to climb the charts. Much as the cover entails, this album is the furthest thing from CHVRCHES you’ll hear. Love isn’t dead, no, CHVRCHES is.

In a combined effort from Greg Krustin (Sia) and Steve Mac (One Direction), CHVRCHES produced the album for the purpose of mainstream attention. For that reason, CHVRCHES shed their skin of an indie act and opted for full pop. This was an expected shift as CHVRCHES has always neared the boundary before. The problem is they stripped away everything that made them unique in the process. The music is incredibly bland and boring in Love is Dead. Much like the lyrics (which we’ll tackle later), the music is repetitious and boring. It meets the bare minimum and stops there. Most of the time I forgot it was a CHVRCHES song. Everything sounds like an Imagine Dragons B-side. ‘Miracle’ is a dead giveaway in that regard. The production works for Imagine Dragons since, after all, they manifested that style. It only works against CHVRCHES since their entire premise was based on innovation. Do you really think a creative and innovative group would excel in a limiting environment?

Everything in Love is Dead is incredibly basic. ‘Get Out’ repeats itself through the chorus: “Get out, get out/Get, get, get out/Get, get, get out of here,” is stuck on a loop. The song never builds to anything substantial. All we have to go on is, “Talked ourselves to death/Never sayin' what I wanted/Sayin' what I needed.” ‘Get Out’ does itself no favors using metaphors like “You are a kaleidoscope,” which don’t fit into the scope at all. It’s such an odd choice for a song about leaving. ‘Deliverance’ dials it to 11 during the chorus. “Deliver-iver-iverance” gets old fast. The music is generic modern pop with Mayberry’s dialed back vocal performance. It’s so predictable that I lost interesting immediately. Love is Dead suffers an infamous mid-album lull. ‘My Enemy (ft. Matt Berniger),’ ‘Forever,’ ‘Never Say Die,’ and ‘Miracle’ sound like every other song and are easily skippable.

For a pop album, Love is Dead is demanding with a 49 minute run time. Melodrama, which had 2 songs less than this one, ran only 40 minutes and was able to fit a 6 minute song in the mix. The pacing makes Dead feel longer than it actually is. It’s paced like an indie album but packaged like a pop album. It only goes to show how mediocre this album was put together. The average pop song is about 2:30 give or take. These songs are running 3 to 4 minutes. CHVRCHES went as far to insert ‘II’ to kill extra time before the closing track. The *last* thing this album needed was filler. To Dead’s credit, the latter half does feature some of the albums better songs. They aren’t spectacular in any way, but they are easier to take seriously than those prior.

What it all boils down to is the fact CHVRCHES opted for quantity over quality. In order to be a mainstream act, they sacrificed their former image to earn one that is more marketable. Love is Dead is a lazy, boring, uninspired album that doesn’t say or do anything special. The album tries to be a breakup/scorned celebration but can’t sell that image right. Love is Dead insults fans intelligence in thinking we could ever take this album seriously. We go from making statements, empowering people, and awe-inspiring instrumentals to singing about broken hearts. From the “whoa-oh” choruses to the dull music, they honestly expect listeners to give this album any credibility. It’s hard to recommend this album to anyone. It doesn’t work as an alt-pop record or even a synthpop one. I can see where people would like this album. It does have a novelty appeal, but not one that lasts. Out of the horrendous albums that May has delivered, I can say Love is Dead is a lot better than Black Labyrinth and And Justice for None. I hope their next album is better. I’m not asking for a miracle, I’m asking for a CHVRCHES album.

Standout Tracks
N/A



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AngryJohnny
June 1st 2018


962 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Tad harsh, this is fine as a pop album.

Not sure that CHVRCHES entire premise is based on innovation. They're a synthpop act who have a lead singer with a fairly original voice



Some good points and fairly well written, but I would look to avoid statements like 'The *last* thing this album needed was filler'. Which albums would you say would benefit from some filler tracks?! and also randomly namedropping other albums without context





LethalPaintball
June 1st 2018


1003 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

not harsh enough

DropTune
June 1st 2018


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks for the tips Johnny. I can't say they aren't innovative. They were able to rip-off Depeche Mode and add to the song. They deserve credit in that regard. They can innovate in their own way. My past few reviews have been a bit harsh, but albums like Love is Dead, Dispose, and Black Labyrinth don't give me a reason to let up. I understand why people like them, but I don't see how doing the bare minimum is supposed to be worthy of a high score. Just because it's "meh" doesn't qualify a 2.5 or 3. When I think of average, that's something along the lines of Heaven Upside Down or Endgame where it has obvious problems but isn't total crap. I might change my rating on this album after listening to it a few more times, but even for a pop album, it's white noise.

CaliggyJack
June 2nd 2018


3244 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Holy shit I forgot these guys existed.



Kinda wishing I'd still forgotten.

Asdfp277
June 2nd 2018


21716 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sia's songwriter being involved in this explains why the songs are so basic and dull actually, it makes so much sense :0

CaliggyJack
June 2nd 2018


3244 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

"They were able to rip-off Depeche Mode and add to the song. They deserve credit in that regard."



Holy shit dude please add this to the review it's fucking gold.

Asdfp277
June 2nd 2018


21716 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

And steve mac was involved in the worst song off this



holy shit lmao

CaliggyJack
June 2nd 2018


3244 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

"And steve mac was involved in the worst song off this







holy shit lmao"



It just keeps getting better and better

DropTune
June 2nd 2018


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I think CHVRCHES is rivaling Five Finger Death Punch to be the whipping post of Sputnik.

Shamus248
June 2nd 2018


461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Every Open Eye was released in 2015, not 2016

CaliggyJack
June 2nd 2018


3244 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

If these guys stop sucking then we'll stop whipping simple as that

Shamus248
June 2nd 2018


461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also y'all are tripping. this album is great. not as great as their last 2 albums but it holds it own

Asdfp277
June 2nd 2018


21716 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it's subpar

DropTune
June 2nd 2018


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

You have every right to enjoy it Shamus, but you can't tell me this is worth a 4. The album has obvious problems and lacks depth. It's a boring generic pop album.

bentheREDfan
June 2nd 2018


502 Comments


Only thing I ever heard from these guys was the first album, and I really enjoyed it, I'll need to get caught up on the discog now.

DropTune
June 2nd 2018


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

They're pretty good for what they're trying to be. Their earlier stuff is a lot more focused than what Love is Dead offers.



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