Preaching to the Choir
4 Out Of 5 Stars
Striking yet another retro pose for all things 80's synth, we have Chvrches and "The Bones Of What You Believe." Lead singer Lauren Mayberry and crew may be apeing the mopey sounds for all they can, but they do a really good job of it. They couch it all in shiny happy laptop rock, but they also have a taste for the distorted ("You Caught The Light," oddly a song that Mayberry doesn't sing) and it is easy to see why Depeche Mode chose them as tour openers overseas.
The Scottish threesome understand that a good downer goes down even better when it has this kind of sheen. On the anthem-ish "The Mother We Share," especially in the chorus:
"I'm in misery where you can seem as old as your omens
And the mother we share will never keep your proud head from falling
The way is long but you can make it easy on me
And the mother we share will never keep our cold hearts from calling."
Yup, nothing like a depressive episode that has a good beat so you can dance to it. "I'll be a thorn in your side," Mayberry sweetly sings on "Lungs." Her voice (which at times reminded me of Kate Bush) is so silky that you'll sometimes miss the bite of Chvrches lyrics. It's that combination of the frosty with the sugary that makes "The Bones of What You Believe" one of the better debuts of 2013.
Only gripe? Much like Imagine Dragons' debut, the frequent push into loudness war territory mars some of the better songs. I'm really beginning to think decently producing albums has become a lost art.