Love is Dead

CHVRCHES - Love is Dead
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2018 Ratings: #483 / 717
User Score
Based on 290 ratings
2018 Ratings: #739
May 25, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Glassnote / Label
Synthpop, Electropop / Genres
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chvrch.es / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Independent

It’s not an overtly political album, but the undertones are undeniable. CHVRCHES, however, doesn’t purely focus their energy there: instead they use those challenges to propel them into searching for strength and the human connection.

90
Drowned in Sound

Chvrches may declare that love is dead; but you just fell right back into it. You won’t shake this record for a very long time. When you close your eyes, you’ll forever be able to trace the outline of its face.

80
The Skinny

Love Is Dead shows the Glasgow indie electro three-piece super-sizing their synth-pop, adding a surprising aggression to boot. Don’t be surprised if Love Is Dead seals their superstardom.

80
Dork

From the opening synths of ‘Graffiti’, this is a record that goes for the jugular.

80
Under The Radar

Not exactly a faultless record, by any stretch of the imagination, Love Is Dead nonetheless confirms that The Bones of What You Believe was far from a fluke effort and that the band, regardless of the success found in the intervening years, are still capable of delivering exciting, engaging and boundary-pushing synth-pop when it really matters.

80
NME

‘Love Is Dead’ manages to balance hopeful, utopian pop with a darker, gloomier undercurrent.

80
DIY
Celebratory, rich and more confident than ever before, they’re yet again the finest versions of themselves.
80
The Observer
There’s no false salvation for disheartening times to be found in the Glasgow trio’s third album, but a battery of bright, rallying choruses that break free of sludgy despair.
80
Clash
Don’t be fooled by this negative name, as ultimately the electro-pop trio are a battery of bright, rallying choruses that break free of disheartening despair. Heavily weighty with fiery doom and gloom, Lauren Mayberry masters the art of colourfully abstract lyrics.
77
Paste

For all the venting of psychic turbulence, Love Is Dead has a joyfully defiant feel, as if singer Lauren Mayberry is busily converting all the negativity in her life into sparkling, irrepressible pop melodies.

75
Northern Transmissions

It goes without saying, CHVRCHES’ pop leanings have been given the A-List treatment, meaning that ‘Love Is Dead’s trojan horse is all bejewelled and fancy on the outside but on the inside its weapons’ are drawn, ready to attack.

75
A.V. Club
The songs sound bigger and more layered, but the core of hook-laden, synth-based pop and Lauren Mayberry’s lilting vocals remains undisturbed.
70
Exclaim!

Love Is Dead is by no means a bad record — even in nitpicking its problems, I find myself drawn back to it time and again. So much goes right here, but in scrubbing their songs of imperfections, they've also magnified their flaws.

70
AllMusic

The most impressive thing about Love is Dead might be that as big as its sound gets, Chvrches never lose touch with the humanity that's at the core of their music.

70
Rolling Stone

Chvrches are at their finest when they're adding dabs of holographic highlighter to structures built on New Wave's buzzy bliss and post-goth's gloom.

63
Pitchfork

Mayberry searches relentlessly for light in the dark. Her insistence on standing for what is right and never turning a blind eye also reads as a fight to resist desensitization, a powerful theme for a pop record. But Love Is Dead often sounds desensitized, unyielding, and defensive.

60
The Guardian

Love Is Dead isn’t a bad album. It’s flawed but flecked with great moments.

60
No Ripcord
It’s difficult not to see how this album, in an attempt to appeal to a much wider audience, won’t end up splitting their fanbase. It won’t alienate anyone who wants a fine pop album, but it may disappoint those who had come to expect something more interesting than that from the trio.
60
PopMatters

Love Is Dead is not a bad album, it's just that this felt like CHVRCHES' time for a great one. Love Is Dead is not that, either.

60
musicOMH

Love Is Dead is not a terrible album and it certainly has its moments, but it’s not as engaging or interesting as its predecessors.

60
Tiny Mix Tapes

Love is Dead fits the complaints of its narrative, sketched above and elsewhere. It is often not as exhilarating as other moments in Chvrches’ breadth.

58
Consequence of Sound

Love Is Dead is a collection of songs about grand concepts like openness, heartbreak, disappointment, and generally growing up. But without the benefit of specificity or a sharp perspective, the result is that it may be the most impersonal record that CHVRCHES have ever produced. Pain without specificity sounds a lot like numbness.

55
Spectrum Culture

On their third album, Love Is Dead, they reach a sweet spot in balancing the chasm between what is charming to niche dance music fans and what is necessary to penetrate the Billboard charts, but then they keep going.

50
Slant Magazine

These rare reminders of Chvrches's capacity for poignancy and nuance only make Love Is Dead's overarching push toward generic melodrama in the name of accessibility seem all the more vacuous.

50
The Line of Best Fit
Perhaps the record will turn Chvrches into genuine chart-botherers, or festival headliners, but their last two albums had already provided compelling evidence that they would have been capable of that under their own steam, without the anaesthetising effect of Kurstin’s expensive production. Love isn’t dead - Chvrches have just been looking for it in all the wrong places.
50
FLOOD Magazine

With Love Is Dead, Chvrches further chisel away at any remaining stray edges of their kaleidoscopic pop; all that remains is a reliable, airtight formula.

NR
CHVRCHES bout to make history:

THE FIRST ARTIST TO RELEASE THE SAME ALBUM THREE TIMES.

Gotta admire the ambition...
matteo
60
CHVRCHES have the CHVTZPAH to swing for the top of the CHVRTS - but have they sacrificed their distinctive CHVRMS in CHVSING a mainstream crossover? I just don't want this to sound like CHVINSMOKERS.

[Actual Review]:

This is absolutely the album the singles advertised: Chvrches as their hugest and most anthemic, making "music for the masses" that betrays a fairly low opinion of the mainstream they want to cross over into. The sound is absolutely there, from those gleaming, airborne ... read more
76fex
44
Makes me wonder if their first album was an accident
64
It's not *that* bad. Given a couple of these singles (I’m looking at you, “Miracle”), “Love is Dead” could’ve been a total catastrophe. Instead, most of this album is perfectly catchy, perfectly acceptable synthpop. And that’s the issue: the reason CHVRCHES’ first two albums stood out was that they seemed to offer more than that. They kept their production unique, making poppy songs that still hold up as inspired. More streamlined, mainstream ... read more
plowo
78
CHVRCHES has always made this explosive synthpop sound, with big hooks and amazing synths. On Love Is Dead, the band takes this formula and expanded to a more commercial approach with more economic catchy ready lyrics and some big anthemic chorus and for me is a good album that still kept their beloved sound but even though it's their worst is still good.

Favs: Graffiti, Get Out, My Enemy, Graves and Heaven/Hell.
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Track List

  1. Graffiti
  2. Get Out
  3. Deliverance
  4. My Enemy (feat. Matt Berninger)
  5. Forever
  6. Never Say Die
  7. Miracle
  8. Graves
  9. Heaven/Hell
  10. God's Plan
  11. Really Gone
  12. ii
  13. Wonderland
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, Novell_sx
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Added on: February 27, 2018