Album Review: Every Open Eye, Chvrches

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Chvrches is a Scottish synthpop band that began in 2011, made up of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty.  They stepped onto the musical scene in 2013 upon the release of their first album, The Bones of What You Believe, gaining instant popularity with tracks like “Recover” and “The Mother We Share.”  Their first album was packed with dance beats and synthesizer, all with Mayberry’s soprano vocals ringing out above the base. Their second album, Every Open Eye, was released this past Friday, September 27th of 2015.  It includes 11 tracks.  The first track, “Never Ending Circles,” sounds very similar to “Recover.”  As I listened to the entire album, I found that that was a trend; most of the album is very reminiscent to the not only their previous album but also each song sounds similar to most of the other songs on this album.  So, on one hand, it seems that they are failing to evolve musically, but on the other they’re sticking to what works really well for them. Their tracks remain upbeat, centered on direct and synth pop with clearly defined beats.  “Clearest Blue” really defines the album, including the lyrics “just another time we're caught inside / Every open eye.”  However, certain songs stand out as they aren’t as peppy; for example, “Down Side of Me” starts with a soft, slow melody while still utilizing their infamous beats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpFXXPruuqU

What really made this album stand out compared to their last is the track “High Enough to Carry You Over” performed by Martin Doherty rather than Lauren Mayberry.  While Mayberry’s vocals are great and work well with the music, it gets a bit monotonous with her screaming soprano in every single song.  Doherty’s voice was really an awesome addition and added some variety.

Overall, I would say this album averages a C+; while it might be a bit repetitive and predictable, the few songs that stray from the band’s norm are just amazing.

TOP 5 TRACKS: 1.  High Enough to Carry You Over

2.Leave a Trace

3.Keep You On My Side

4.Down Side of Me

5.Clearest Blue