You know that feeling when you have been waiting for an artist to follow up the album you enjoy quite a lot and all suspense it starts to build with every year? That’s Chvrches and Love Is Dead for me.
This was by far one of my most anticipated albums of the year. Being a big fan of their previous work, especially their previous album Every Open Eye(which is still 10/10 album in my books) I was looking forward to this album. And then the first single came out and I was disappointed, and then the second single came out and I was yet again disappointed. I thought Matt Berninger’s feature on My Enemy was pointless and pretty uninteresting. Get Out never won me over although I liked it way more than My Enemy So my expectations for this album were lowered a lot and I was expecting this to be a major disappointment. So did it disappoint me at the end?
It’s kinda complicated. In one hand because of lowered expectations it did not but in other hand singles grew on me and if I gave them more chances before the album came out they would probably grow on me. Don’t get me wrong this is not a bad album. It’s actually pretty good but for standards, they have set with their previous album Every Open Eye it is kind of a disappointment.
There is a lot of great things going around in this album though. The album opens up with an arguably best song of Love is Dead. The main reason why Graffiti is great lays in one reason. The chorus.
Right after that one we get another great song, Get Out which as I already mentioned did not care for much when it originally came out but it grew on me massively. Sure, the hook of it is pretty repetitive but I don’t know there is something about that is so captivating that it was stuck in my head for last two days. Lauren’s performance on that song and in general on the whole album is pretty great and that is what keeps carrying this album for the most part. She has the perfect voice for the type of music they make.
Deliverance is a pretty good song, but I feel like it could be even better. Chorus despite being good could hit harder. Layered vocals in this song are pretty nice touch.
Never Say Die is another pretty great song. A great buildup in pre-chorus makes the chorus sound much better. Synth arpeggios at the end of the song reminded me a lot of something Muse would do in their early days and that is a pretty good thing in my books. Miracle is not bad but it’s arguably one of two worst songs from this album and all can be summed up for two reasons. That Imagine Dragons-esque chorus and lot of awful vocal effects that really did not to be there in the first place. Especially ones right before and after the chorus. Verses of the song are actually pretty good, the synth that comes in second part of it has prety nice melody and Lauren’s performance is good.
My Enemy has this pretty relaxing vibe which is achieved with a fantastic vocal performance from both Lauren and Matt. The vocal contrast between Matt and Lauren in My Enemy is a big reason why this song is so great. They sound pretty nice together during the outro of My Enemy. This collaboration is one of most unexpected collaborations I have ever seen but at the end, it turned out pretty great
This is pretty frontloaded album but every song up to Miracle is great at worst and that is a pretty good thing. Really Gone is in my opinion worst song of this album. There is nothing about it other than Lauren’s vocals that make me interested in it. Really Gone is the only song on this album that I would say that is bad but then again it’s not downright awful. Miracle would be my second least favorite song then.
Chvrches lyrics have always made me scratch my head so many times. Their lyrics have never been “on the nose” and that is the case for this album too. Sure, Graffiti, My Enemy, and Miracle have pretty obvious meaning but rest of it can be pretty hard to actually understand what is actually happening in the song. But then again that might be just me being bad at it so who knows.
If I had to rank this album against other two Chvrches releases I would probably put it on second play together with their debut album The Bones of What You Believe
I hate that I have to compare this album with the previous one because Every Open Eye is in my humble opinion one of best albums of all time and in comparison with it Love is Dead does not have nowhere near high highs. Sure, Graffiti, Never Say Die and My Enemy are fantastic but they are nowhere near best songs from Every Open Eye which are Clearest Blue, Leave A Trace or Make Them Gold
Now, let’s address elephant in the room. Is this album pretty much same as their previous two? Eeeh, kinda it is. But, I don’t know there is something about Chvrches songwriting that is so captivating for me even though at this moment can be pretty predictable. I mean that is same for another album from this year that I liked quite a lot. Judas Priest’s new album called Firepower and that one sounds almost exactly like their 80’s work but only with modern production and I loved it. I mean, it did kinda make me like this album a little bit less but still, I enjoyed it quite a lot. Very singalong, anthemic and big choruses are still their main weapon
Overall, despite all its flaws, this is still pretty good album and it’s definitely worth checking out.