PVRIS
Use Me


3.5
great

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (68 Reviews)
September 14th, 2020 | 49 replies


Release Date: 08/28/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Standing ground.

Use Me will inevitably come as a disappointment to many PVRIS fans. Rather than rushing into uncharted territory, the band (now a duo) opts to bridge their first album's synth-pop and the alt-rock of their second into a muscular pop-rock hybrid. And while it might lack ambition, the album manages to find a compelling middle-ground to the band’s style.

What betrays it is a lack of clarity in this direction. “Pop-rock” is a vague umbrella term, and the band seems unwilling to define it for themselves. Much of the album is dominated by bluesy riffs and dance-rock beats, similar to Royal Blood or modern Queens of the Stone Age. Tracks like “Give Me a Minute” make a compelling case for this direction, but they stand largely at odds with the darker EDM influence of the album’s centerpiece run. Three tracks from the band’s prior EP release Hallucinations were plopped unapologetically into the middle of this record, no sleep lost over their completely different approach to every other song on its tracklist, fusing surging synths with subtle guitar licks. They, most notably career-highlight “Old Wounds”, are distractingly stronger than the surrounding tracks, creating an unevenness to the album’s quality and tone.

Simply put, this is a good album filled with good songs. “Dead Weight” is a thumping rocker with an empowering sense of confidence. “January Rain” is one of the most genuine pop ballads I’ve heard all year. Each track here makes great use of vocalist Lynn Gunn’s commanding voice and the band’s dynamic talent. Some will no doubt fall into my playlists, but I don’t think I’ll return to the album often. The clear negatives aren’t what will deter me either, even the eye-roll choruses of “Stay Gold” or the embarrassing guest verse of the title track. The issue is that none of these songs build off each other in any meaningful way. There’s simply no emotional narrative here, no structure to the feelings or sounds.

Ultimately then, Use Me is fated to be a “collection of songs” release. Maybe that was the intent. What’s disappointing about the record is not the content itself--it isn’t a step forward for the band, but it’s not their downfall either. Instead, PVRIS has stood their ground to mark the nebulous genre of pop-rock as their definite territory. It’s just looking less and less likely that they’ll step outside of it again any time soon.



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user ratings (67)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


20348 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Good to Be Alive": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vr0YE-N8go



Huge thanks to [Johnny] for the (multiple) proofs!

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2020


3426 Comments


Very nice concise review, brother. Listening as we speak.

Goddamn, Gimme a Minute is GREAT.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


20348 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Blush! < 3

Interested to hear your thoughts, have you heard any PVRIS before? (:

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2020


3426 Comments


Hmmmm. I might've heard their last, but I don't recall. What's your fave?

LunaticSoul
September 14th 2020


1460 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

EP was a nice guilty pleasure but singles on this sound too pop for my taste, all splattered out front-page, no sublety whatsoever, it's good music for the next FIFA lol. . .



review doesn't read as a 3.5, imho, a 'good' album filled with 'good' songs that won't see much rotation. . . .reads like a 3

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


1392 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah entirely agreed, lots of good songs here but def not a cohesive unit as an album

Digging: Iress - Flaw

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


20348 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good for me means a 3.5, I wish people wouldn't get so hung up on that on here. But I skew pretty highly in my ratings anyway so it checks out hahaha (:

@blush their last album and that EP are incredible! "Half" is probably my favorite song by them

@jesper yes agreed!

SteakByrnes
September 14th 2020


20871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"...the band (now a duo)..."



I don't think the bit in parenthesis is necessary since they weren't a duo when recording the album, but other than that nice write up neeka bro :] This album slaps, getting far too much hate lol

Digging: Svalbard - When I Die, Will I Get Better?

AsleepInTheBack
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


6586 Comments


Lovely neat lil write up. Inspiring me to write the good words.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


12886 Comments


Well there’s to that. Nice to work neeky

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


21288 Comments


I can't check this cause I already preemptively decided it's bad.

But good review neek!

Digging: Iress - Flaw

William21
September 14th 2020


554 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album was definitely a disappointment. Now they feel like just a generic pop band. Shame too, because I *loved* their last album

Uzumaki
September 14th 2020


2715 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really liked this album; felt like a continuation of themes from their previous album.

MaryBabko
September 14th 2020


440 Comments


Awful band

bloc
September 14th 2020


63092 Comments


Use me as a dislike button

Digging: Disclosure - Energy

Divaman
September 14th 2020


6386 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I thought these guys had potential with their first LP, but they've disappointed me ever since.

Digging: Cut Copy - Freeze, Melt

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


1392 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea is this album insinuating one should use it for eh extracurricular purposes? i reckon the cd version would be easiest

trackbytrackreviews
September 14th 2020


3435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"first album's synth-pop and the alt-rock of their second"



uhh what

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


20348 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks everyone!

Glad to see there's a healthy amount of people enjoying this on top of those I figured would be disappointed

@trackbytrack I just went with the genre tags I thought would best help my argument lmao, both have those tags on wiki tho

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


20348 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Steak good point, I really don't know how that survived the edit but I'll just leave it ig (:



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