REVIEW: ‘Love Is Dead’ by Chvrches is a great showcase of synth pop

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Cover art for "Love is Dead" by Chvrches.

Chvrches third outing, “Love Is Dead,” is an amazing album. To clarify, it is not an album of okay songs that are meant to showcase amazing singles.

Every song has potential to be your favorite, depending on your taste, and every song contributes well to the flow of the album as a whole, while showcasing the level of polish attained by learning the strong points of the band’s two previous albums and the genuine joy and respect of three people who love their jobs.

If you have been disappointed in the recent efforts of your favorite pop artist, or are curious about indie pop and synth pop, this album is an excellent jumping-on point.

The one aspect that makes this album truly exceptional is how easy it is to listen to. None of these songs are lyrically complex, and unlike Chvrches’ previous albums, the vocals are very clearly front and center.

The melody patterns also feel very familiar, while never seeming stale or done before. The synth that backs singer Lauren Mayberry is very restrained. That being said, there’s always something new in each song.

Considering the experience of Iain Cook and Martin Doherty as music producers, I’m genuinely unsure whether Lauren’s vocals are getting stronger over time, or if Cook and Doherty are simply more experienced at bringing her voice into its best light. This shows how the quality of the album is carried by all three members of the Glasgow-based band.

As much as I’m biased to the infinitely complex and experimental, this isn’t an album to study, but rather one to have in the background while studying. This is a road trip album. Time flies while listening, and the only real point of disappointment is when it ends.

While “Love Is Dead” isn’t a skull-scratcher, each song paints a picture to its audience. “Graffiti,” the album’s first song, evokes an image of snowboarding to me. It’s free, it’s open and it has a momentum to it that feels like all the world’s wind is hitting your face as you’re barreling way faster than you planned.

The opening line of “Miracles,” “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies / careful what you wish for” is smooth and smoky like a Sazerac, and grabs the attention effortlessly. Nearly every other song has me lip-synching with the earnestness of someone invited on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Despite the diversity in images the entire album evokes, no song catches its listener off-guard, and the feelings brought in listening feel evergreen. The album belongs on the beach as much as hiding in your air-conditioned living room.

This is by no means a discussion on which album, to me, is greatest of all time. That’s an article for a different day. Time will tell whether this album will have any footing in that discussion. For the time being, I believe “Love Is Dead” is worth a listen or three, if not a purchase of the physical CD itself. I know I’m buying the disc.

Micah Drake is a senior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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