Album Review: Every Open Eye


Chvrches have always been able to perfectly execute both intense electronica and synthpop. The band’s EP back in 2013 displayed a new side of all things indie electronic. You may remember a certain cut from their EP surfacing at hipster hotspots, “Recover.” This song in particular drew them more attention than the few songs they put on the Internet in 2012. It consisted of 80s sounding synths with a heart broken chorus. The rest of the EP consisted of 4 other songs. “Zvvl,” a dark and dramatic song with bandmate/producer Martin Doherty on lead vocals, and “Now Is Not the Time,” a very quirky and charming song that will make you want to go roller blading with a lover, much like the music video. The EP was concluded with 2 remixes of “Recover”. Remixes are a must have on a Chvrches record. The 3 songs each represent different indie subgenres that Chvrches conquer. Fans did not have to worry about them straying away from their style while anticipating their 1st album.

Once their full-length LP “The Bones of What You Believe” hit the market, critics all over the world went crazy for it. Front woman, Lauren Mayberry and the boys continued to bring the mixture of dark dance beats and heart-touching ballads. From beginning to end, the songs switch around from 80s pop elements to modern electronic bangers.

Now, the Scottish power trio has returned. After endless touring and TV appearances following the release of “The Bones of What You Believe”, the band is back with a new LP. Boys and girls, throw on your thick frame glasses, lace your Clark Wallabees, lay down the vinyl and drop the needle, you’re in for a twist, especially for you long-time fans.

“Every Open Eye” does not follow the same agenda as “What You Believe”. The vast majority of the album is straight synthpop. Song by song, Mayberry’s lyrics become catchier just as much as they become more meaningful. Many of the songs follow a similar idea of looking inside yourself and finding the positives in life. In “Make Them Gold,” Mayberry sings: “We are made of our longest days/ We are falling but not alone/ We will take the best parts of ourselves/ And make them gold.” Mayberry continues to find ways to creatively express how we need to look at the brighter side of life when the going gets tough and within the album’s 43 minutes, it manages to never get old.

Those who know “The Bones of What You Believe” well should be able to notice the underlying factor in this new record, being the lack of intensity. On the previous album there were songs like “Science/Visions”, bonus track “Broken Bones”, “Lies” and “Night Sky” showing just how diverse they can be. These tracks shined a light on the darker side of the dance floor, while the rest of the tracks are what put them in their category of synthpop. It’s tracks like these that made Chvrches who they are and what represent them today, but not anymore and somehow they still manage to pull off being a great band. So with the dark side of Chvrches missing, they brought in a subgenre they have not really exercised. On “High Enough to Carry You Over,” Doherty tags out Mayberry and takes over the mic once again. This song is without a doubt better than the previous song he sang on, “Under the Tide.” Chvrches’ other member/producer Iain Cook lays down a very groovy instrumental for this dancefloor heartbreaker as Doherty repeats, “I never would’ve given you up if you only hadn’t given me up.” It may be hard to believe, but I found this one to be the best song on the album, sorry Mayberry.

“Every Open Eye” does not pack the same punch as their epic debut, but it’s equally emotional. The catchy and relatable lyrics with poppy upbeat vibes are taken a few notches higher than their previous album, slightly diminishing their aggressive edge. The vocal melodies and production are very positive as well. Relatively new fans of Chvrches would not notice much of a difference between this and their previous work, but the day-one fans would be aware of the slight turn this album made. Chvrches’ sophomore LP earns a satisfied but slightly wanting more, 6/10.

ALBUM POSTERBOYS: High Enough to Carry You Over, Downside of Me, Empty Threat, Playing Dead, Keep You On My Side, Leave a Trace, Make Them Gold

+ : Their sophomore album makes you feel like you can take on the world with its positive energy and upbeat synth driven pop.

– : Two of Chvrches’ signature sounds, mystery and intensity, sadly didn’t have presence on this album.