Creativity is not something that you can necessarily learn. Creativity is something that you have deep within you, found in the depths of your mind, alongside your hopes, dreams, and imagination. Creativity can be taught, but then it feels forced and unnatural. For Chvrches, creativity flows through everything they do. It is so innate in them, you can see it, hear it, and feel it — effortlessly laced through their songs, their artwork, and their stage presence.
Love is Dead is the band’s third studio album. Each of their albums have been a stepping stone for the next, as they grow creatively and further experiment with music. But, alas, each album stands independently as its very own, complete piece of artistry. This new record is a 13-song journey of the artists themselves, with angsty, jubilant power and relatable turmoil. The synth-pop group delves into this journey head first and gives each song its own strength and confidence. Some songs are upbeat powerhouses and others are moodier, classic tracks that make the album what it is. Like life and relationships, Love is Dead has its ups and downs, but in this case it is relating to the beat and style of the song; for each track is a small masterpiece.
Opening this new album is a stellar track about bathroom walls. Seriously, who knew that the graffiti on a stall in a bathroom would be so inspiring and inviting? Lauren Mayberry, the lead singer, sings above the fast, tingling beats with such passion you don’t even realize that you are being mesmerized by a song about bathroom graffiti. Clearly, the song’s meaning is underlying throughout, but the general concept is still there, in the midst of a truly captivating song with lyrics and instrumentals that make the hairs on the back of your next stand up and your feet tap incessantly to the beat.
Love is Dead has a great flow to it and each song takes you to a new corner of the journey, enveloping you and making you one with the song at hand. You feel each and every word that Mayberry sings and it’s never muddled underneath the perfectly produced electronic beats that make Chvrches who they are. On “Forever,” the drums are deliciously catchy and the lyrics are a stunning recollection of a dramatic turn of events in a couple’s relationship. Instead of the typical “I’ll love you forever” concept (that would not fit on this album in the least), the song’s chorus rings a much more realistic storyline with the lyrics: “And you will never see my side/And I will always think I’m right/But I always regret the night/I told you I would hate you until forever.”
Clocking in at just over five minutes, “Heaven/Hell” is the ninth track on the album, and certainly one of the best and definitely one of the most infectious. Much of their fan base, including myself, has their fingers crossed that this song becomes Chvrches’ next single for this record. “Heaven/Hell” seems to be Mayberry’s way of calling out the misogyny of women in bands, women in the music industry, and women doing their own damn thing. She, herself, is a force to be reckoned with, and in my opinion, this is her rallying, fiercely-powerful siren song. It is exhilarating with the background music and empowering with the lyrics. Hearing this on the radio, let alone live on stage, is something that should happen immediately; for it’s an experience that I believe all should have.
This album holds its own so well. Chvrches couldn’t do anything more to Love is Dead if they tried, because it is perfection in itself. The catchy hooks and flawless beats are evident throughout and are enough to make any production team, any synth-pop group from any genre, and any true musician envious of what one, small, but immensely talented group can do; with the help of a trustworthy team and more passion than one can imagine. Not to mention that that is all in addition to their amazing fan base, flawless live performances, and always evolving creativity.