- The Bride

Bat For Lashes - The Bride
CRITIC SCORE
76
Based on 31 reviews
2016 Rank: #199 / 722
USER SCORE
73
Based on
154 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Exclaim!

The Bride is not only a journey for Natasha and the characters she has created — as with all great albums, listeners, too, will be met with a sea of contemplation.

90
No Ripcord
Yes, a concept album is difficult to pull off in the best of circumstances, but damn does Khan sell it. By letting the music guide the narrative, not the other way around, she (mostly) avoids the storyboard pitfalls that plague other such endeavors. It also helps that Khan's never sounded better. She hits that sweet spot between power and control that dazzles but doesn't overwhelm.
85
The Line of Best Fit
Anyone can make a concept album, but to make one this good requires a director’s eye for plot, pacing, and what to leave on the cutting room floor. Perhaps more musicians should go to film school.
85
The 405

The Bride might not be as accessible as its predecessors, yet after time invested it will have you curiously considering ceremony, matrimony, and individuality.

80
NOW Magazine
Natasha Khan's fourth Bat for Lashes album is her most mature and cohesive yet.
80
NME
This fourth album – her most ambitious yet – finds her pairing the filmic qualities of her first two (2006’s ‘Fur And Gold’, 2009’s ‘Two Suns’) with the stark maturity of 2012’s ‘The Haunted Man’.
80
Spin
She’s flipped the script on us, and in doing so has created her most cohesive work — and maybe even her happiest ending yet.
80
The Guardian
Whether it’s a great idea to impose such an involved narrative on an album of torch songs seems doubtful, especially since their appeal is always fortified by elastic meaning. What’s less questionable is the quality of the music itself.
80
Loud and Quiet
It’s certainly BFL’s most downbeat work to date, but, in it, there’s also a message that hope and strength can crawl out of even the most tragic of situations.
80
DIY
Richer than even the sum of its parts, ‘The Bride’ is a beautiful, complex and often harrowing listening experience.
80
Clash

‘The Bride’ is a stellar soundtrack to the complexities of womanhood within the institution of marriage, a triumph of raw intensity.

80
Uncut

Khan’s fourth album is a mature piece of work, but doesn’t forsake her infectious, wide-eyed enthusiasm for the possibilities of her art.

76
Pitchfork

Although The Bride is relatively more stripped down than what we’ve come to expect from Bat for Lashes, Khan has no trouble filling the space with her signature lofty soprano, which does all the dramatic work the storyline needs to feel real.

75
Consequence of Sound

While it all may seem rather bleak, rays of light eventually cut through the gloom. The Bride’s captivating story and thoughtful arrangements prove addictive, as Khan’s impressive songwriting rewards multiple listens, another step toward the vaunted pantheon of British art rock.

75
A.V. Club

Her music earns frequent comparisons to Kate Bush—how could it not, with her soprano voice and theatrical flair?—but Natasha Khan’s fourth album as Bat For Lashes, The Bride, is more reminiscent of Tori Amos.

75
Under The Radar

The peek of her artistry is her ability to bring home existential gravitas through impassioned lift in her register. Her ways of projecting emotion have always been a distinguishing characteristic.

70
PopMatters

While pop music is no stranger to personas and albums about ending relationships, Khan’s key changes in narration and her intentions for the music’s use place the album in largely untraversed territories.

70
Slant Magazine

That The Bride works best as a song cycle rather than a collection of pop hooks is a testament to its cohesion and intrinsic intertexuality, but what's missing here is Khan's knack for grafting avant-art-rock concepts onto mainstream forms.

70
AllMusic

While Khan used restraint eloquently on The Haunted Man, The Bride is beautifully crafted, but not always thrilling.

70
Rolling Stone

On her latest, the concept album The Bride, she fully embraces darkness to beautiful and depressing effects.

70
musicOMH

Some may write it off as one-paced (and they’d have a point), but there are moments of heartache and beauty here that will be hard to touch in 2016.

70
Tiny Mix Tapes

Bat For Lashes has contributed an imaginative installment to our love affair with marriage, in all its charms and discontents.

60
The Skinny

At times perhaps overly conceptual ... The Bride also lacks more standout cuts to truly make it soar. There’s nevertheless plenty to appreciate here; just don’t expect much in the way of wedding playlist material.

60
Drowned in Sound
Maybe shocking rhymes are what we need right now - a salve against the awful realities outside our headphones, the racists on our streets and the morons jostling to marshall them. It’s a shame though that fourth time around it’s not quite such a compelling place to be, and not strong enough to keep the real world out.
58
Pretty Much Amazing

No one’s denying she’s a good singer, technically speaking; I’m simply denying that these are good songs.

50
The Needle Drop
Bat For Lashes returns with a conceptual but underwhelming new album.
Jan 5, 2017
74
Much ink has been spilled about the concept behind this emphatically concept album, but Natasha Khan really does an excellent job with devising, embodying, and executing her narrative. Her voice sounds fantastic and convincing. The quality of the individual songs is slightly variable -- for the most part, they work best as components of the overarching narrative.
Nov 24, 2016
72
Natasha Khan makes a step forward and becomes the aching bride who sets her loneliness at the forefront of her emotional confession.
Aug 7, 2016
EMR
66
Khan's new endeavour consists in a conceptual record with a psychological narrative going on as far as lyrics go, but also with a bright counterpoint in the musical value. Her vocals are often quite beautiful (as usual) and the sparse, meditative instrumentals ocasionally meet up very well, producing some heart-wrenching moments throughout the tracklisting. While Khan manages to balance out the emotive vocals and narratives with a to-the-point instrumental work, The Bride can be a really ... read more
Aug 2, 2016
75
The Bride is a highly conceptual album that tells the story of a woman whose fiancé dies tragically the day of their wedding. Khan never loses focus and sensitiveness with that tale, her songwriting is so strong and delicate that you can't help but feel drowned to it. Maybe the biggest flaw is the production, like it fails to take Khan's vocals and lyrics to the next level and you seem to be listening to an audiobook rather than a music album. It felt kinda generic at some point. Like ... read more
Jul 29, 2016
Raincoat
83
A beautiful concept album that may lack singular standout tracks but tells a poignant story with tact and sensitivity; never forced and never uncomfortable, it's an album that succeeds through subtlety — small moments that make the whole album feel so full despite the restraint from Khan throughout. It certainly requires patience and warming up to, but I think this is her strongest album: consistent, cohesive, and moving.

Highlights: "Close Encounters", "Clouds"
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END OF YEAR LISTS
# 16 - Albumism
# 5 - Fopp
# 16 - God Is In The TV
# 24 - Loud and Quiet
# 14 - No Ripcord
# 27 - Piccadilly Records
# 32 - Q Magazine
# 60 - Rough Trade
# 46 - SPIN
# 37 - The Times / The Sunday Times
# 47 - Treble
# 14 - Under the Radar
Track List
  1. I Do
  2. Joe's Dream
  3. In God's House
  4. Honeymooning Alone
  5. Sunday Love
  6. Never Forgive the Angels
  7. Close Encounters
  8. Widow's Peak
  9. Land's End
  10. If I Knew
  11. I Will Love Again
  12. In Your Bed
  13. Clouds


Added on: March 10, 2016