Words About Music
CHVRCHES “The Bones of What You Believe”
While the world of radio pop seems to get much less interesting as the weeks go by, the world of indie pop (Charli XCX, James Blake, Passion Pit, Sleigh Bells) seems to get more and more interesting. But you don’t always need to bring some cool new innovative technique to the table to make good pop music. That’s never really been what pop has been about. It’s about making catchy, fun tunes that people enjoy listening to. Sometimes it gets popular and annoying, sometimes it fades into obscurity faster than it became popular, and sometimes it retains a certain indie vibe to it that makes it more well liked by critics and music connoisseurs. One example of an exciting new pop group is Scottish synthpop trio CHVRCHES (don’t worry, it’s pronounced “churches.”) They are led by the delightfully adorable Lauren Mayberry, who is backed by dynamic synthesizing duo Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.
CHVRCHES first rose to fame a year ago with the hot single “The Mother We Share,” and then earlier this year with the song “Recover,” along with the accompanying EP, and for good reason. “Recover” is catchy, bombastic, and an extremely likable pop tune. But the question still remained — could these Scots support a hot single with a hot album? It was obvious they were trying to come across as a pop group for the Pitchforks and Spins of the world to enjoy, so could they release an album that will get that highly coveted Best New Music label? Well, Pitchfork has yet to review “The Bones of What You Believe” at the time of typing this, but that doesn’t really matter when an equally important and influential website like, I dunno, Jakob’s Album Reviews has a review right here for you. But of course, I’m a strong supporter of music being subjective. My opinion could and probably will differ from yours.
Let me start off by saying “The Bones of What You Believe” is an incredibly consistent album. Each song sounds like it could be a hit single, which makes it incredibly fun to listen to. One album into their career, CHVRCHES definitely have their sound decided on, and they’re really good at it. It’s a tribute to 80s synthpop while also being incredibly forward thinking and music fan friendly. Although a quick trip to /mu/ will leave you thinking people only like this group for their cute lead singer. I, for one, have remained unbiased by letting the music speak for itself. And while it doesn’t manage to say much, who cares? It’s a fun album that I didn’t hate. Music doesn’t always have to have a, b, c, and d to be a great album. It’s a cool record.
Truth be told, there isn’t so much that can be said about “The Bones of What You Believe.” It’s really not a bad album at all, it’s just a consistent pop album, with great production and well performed vocals from Lauren Mayberry. If you’re looking for a good pop album, then take a listen. It’s a difficult album to hate unless you’re one of those people who needs music with substance. In that case, I suggest you learn how to have fun. It may not be as good as “Random Access Memories” or “True Romance,” but it’s enjoyable enough that I would recommend it to someone who wants to hear some fun music. And if that’s you, then take a listen. Otherwise, there’s a new Jesu album out you might enjoy.
SCORE – 7.5
FAVORITE TRACKS – The Mother We Share, Gun, Tether, Lies, Recover, Night Sky, Science/Visions, You Caught The Light