CHVRCHES falls short with ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’

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CHVRCHES is a Scottish synth-pop band that has been succeeding in obtaining fans of the mainstream pop genre.

With the lead singer’s higher vocal range and beats that seem to be an extension off of The Postal Service’s “Give Up’” record, CHVRCHES brings catchy songs that bring back the feelings of ’80s pop. Unlike other bands in the genre, however, CHVRCHES has a lack of instrumental presence (especially guitar) in their songs, mainly focusing on pedals and synthesizers to carry their tracks through.

The song “The Mother We Share” is a great opener to the record bringing a catchy melody and upbeat vocals. It holds some of the catchiest melodies found in synth-pop and is an example of what the band is capable of at its best. However, the band fails to keep this energy and flow with songs found in the rest of the album.

For the most part lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry seems to haul the band on her shoulders when most of the lyrics are badly written. For example, in the song “We Sink,” the chorus lyrics of “I’ll be a thorn in your side Till you die” just doesn’t seem very catchy, but is still used constantly throughout the song successfully with the distraction of high-ranged vocals.

Also, the band seems to stray away from their working formula when they switch over to the male DJ singing in songs such as “You Caught The Light.” This leads to my main problem with the album: The first few songs provide a perfect mixture of vocals and synthesizing, but most of this charm is lost when they bring in the male vocalist and tracks that have a darker tone, such as “Science/Visions.”

With the exception of the song “Lungs” the end of the album, the rest of the later tracks seem relatively weak. Even with some poor lyrical choices and male chorus vocals, however, the album has its moments and is a nice example of an “alright” synth-pop record.