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Chvrches: Every Open Eye – Album Review

27 September, 2015 — by Christopher Ratcliff0

chvrches every open eye album cover art

In our house we pronounce it Churvurches. Go on, you give it go… Churvurches… yeah that’s good.

Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye starts as if its business as usual, ‘Never Ending Circles’ is the same kind of soaring, power-pop with a big heart and storming synthetic percussion of the kind we loved on debut The Bones of What You Know, yeah it’s nothing that matches the mighty ‘Recover’ but it’s a nice tease. Then there follows a couple of similarly paced, typically earnest numbers, that all start promisingly enough but don’t really offer much in the way of progression or inventiveness. Then by fourth track ‘Make Them Gold’ the wheels come off spectacularly, with a watery-thin misfire, which would ordinarily be mere shrug-worthy filler, but it’s too irritating and patronising to be ignored. Past this point things just become samey, although the manner in which ‘Clearest Blue’ stubbornly refuses to be a complete rip-off of Depeche Mode’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ is entertaining enough in its own way.

chvrches lauren mayberry singing in smoke
“Please don’t be alarmed, continue to enjoy the gig, the alarm is just a test”

‘High Enough to Carry You Over’ is the now standard track per album given over to keyboardist Martin Doherty just to keep him happy, but his vocals add absolutely nothing different to Lauren Mayberry’s, so you wonder the point of it other than an ego exercise. ‘Empty Threat’ has lyrics that are atypically clumsy (“taking back an empty threat, more than you can ever know”), the darker ambiguity of the debut’s songwriting is definitely missing here. Maybe that’s ultimately the problem with Every Open Eye compared to the last: the darker, edgier elements are missing, and although it’s a simple trick, the contrast with its sugary synth-pop catchiness made for a far more interesting listen. Plus Mayberry said fuck in it. This has zero fucks in it. I know that’s not the mark of ‘edge’ but maybe if Chvrches gave zero fucks about appealing to the mainstream this might have been more exciting. NOW THAT’S HOW YOU END AN ALBUM REVIEW

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Chvrches - Every Open Eye

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