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on 20 October 2013
What a brilliant, sublime paradox this album is. Having been a teenager of the 80's this album revives some fantastic memories of bands like Ultravox, Depeche Mode, A-ha, Yazoo, and many others with it's screaming synths, electronic beats and great songwriting. But to purely tag this music as 80's revivalism would be doing Chvrches a huge injustice. What Bones has done is transport electronic music into the future with it's attitude and edginess. Then we come to Lauren Mayberry...what a stunning voice! Not since Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) have I heard such a voice that can sound so vulnerable and fragile yet strong and forceful all in the same note (that beautiful Scottish lilt is a big contributing factor)! In fact although on one level Chvrches electric synth sound it completely different to the jangly guitars of The Sundays to me there are some striking similarities and I have to say Chvrches are probably the only band I would trust to do a decent cover of a Sundays song...Lauren if you're reading this - please give it some thought! Being a bloke in his mid 40's I thought my days of listening to new, 'relevant' music were over. Thank you Lauren and the boys for restoring my faith in and enthusiasm for modern British music.
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I picked this CD up (the standard 12 track edition) after watching Chvrches set at Glastonbury, though I already knew about them from items in the music press.

This is one very impressive debut; the balance between the inspired electronica and Lauren Mayberry`s light, slightly accented voice makes for an immediately appealing sound.
Synthesiser-based bands have in the past been accused of coldness - that doesn't happen here; the soundscape is well-realised - varied songs, melodically and rhythmically attractive - any chill in the sound countered by the humanity of Mayberry`s clear-sounding vocals. Her butter-wouldn`t-melt delivery of lyrics which belie the innocence of her voice (on "Gun" for example) is the killer asset - and those tunes don't half get into your head!
The two tracks which feature the male vocals shouldn't be dismissed too lightly either; the melancholic "You Caught the Light" has a beauty all of its own - but I'm in agreement with just about everyone else on this page, Mayberry`s outstanding vocals are the deciding factor in adding this band to your music library.

Early days, but this is a band to watch; I'm really looking forward to their next release.
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on 10 November 2013
Superb album. Original, infectious, mature and emotional. Repeated listening gives rewards. British music is really coming into its own again. Support them!
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on 14 August 2014
Having seen their performance at Glastonbury this year I was convinced that the band are a serious talent and have staying power and that I had to commit to the full repertoire offered by the album since when I have had this on an almost continuous play loop.
There are elements of 80s electronic in the mix and 'Lies' in particular harks back to Tubeway Army but this is so much more than that as it neatly avoids the 'samey' trap with each track having a distinct sound element rather than one merging with another.
The opening track 'The Mother We Share' is undoubtedly an anthem but again unlike many remixes the bonus remix version that plays out the album also stands firm.
There then follows a solid, well formed selection; some punchy, some more laid back, through to 'Recover'. On such a perfectly formed album it is nigh on impossible to pick one track that stands head and shoulders above the others but for me 'Recover' does that. The opening of the track is like a deep breath before it takes a plunge.
The second half of the album after 'Recover' is undoubtedly slower than the first half but more intricate, experimental and innovative. 'Science/Visions' blends ethereal with verve, 'You Caught the Light' has a lilting, meditative feel and finally there is 'Broken Bones' the perfect end track which loops along and gives full range to Lauren Mayberry's vocal talent and hints again at 80s electronic and I am convinced has a nod to Ultravox's anthem 'Vienna', against which it more than holds its own.
There are very few 'perfect' albums, even classic albums usually carry one or 2 bum tracks amongst the exceptional and whilst perhaps none of the tracks on 'The Bones of What You Believe' will enter the long lasting mainstream consciousness as classics (though I think that is the mainstreams great loss) this is a near perfect album and there is not one track that I would drop. In that respect I would put it on the top shelf along with the likes of 'The Joshua Tree', 'Rumours' or 'Supernature', your life will be better for owning this album.
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on 18 November 2013
Highly recommended.
I wasn't a big fan of 80's influenced music (or at least I couldn't find a way in) until I heard a single off this on the radio.
I brought the CD when it came out and am still listening.
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on 18 March 2014
The Glaswegian trio that make up 'Chvrches' are proving a force to be reckoned with on the 3-piece electronica circuit-giving the likes of 'Chase and Status' and 'Disclosure' some healthy competition.
'The Bones Of What You Believe' is quirky, contemporary and sharp with some beautifully crafted songs and musically, expressing a definite technological intent. The song writing is of such a level of maturity, that it has the feel of a third or fourth album rather than a debut! Vocalist Lauren Mayberry could hum the phonebook from cover to cover and still have you yearning for more.
A major plus for this album is that the tracks are in the realm of the radio edit rather than the 12inch, cutting straight to the lyrical point of the song/s.
The single 'Gun' released in the summer of 2013, is the perfect promo for the band, encompassing that vocal hook-based, synthesised style. Track 'Under The Tide' lends itself to a bit of role reversal courtesy of keyboard players Iain Cook/Martin Doherty providing fitting vocals to the backdrop of a tidy base-line.
A very promising addition to the current dance/pop and live music scene.

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on 23 September 2013
With a world tour behind them and 3 well received singles there is a lot of expectation with The Bones Of What You Believe by Chvrches. I had my doubts if Ms Mayberry, Mr Cook and Mr Doherty could pull it off over an album but overall one can say it's a thumbs up! The album starts off with the mid-paced 'The mother we share' before the synth pop of 'We Sink' and 'Gun'. Tether slows the pace down before finishing big. Ms Mayberry has a sort of girly quality about her voice that could felt the heart of the 'weaker sex'. She certainly does when in 'lies' she tells us she can sell us lies that 'can feed our dirty mind'. Naughty girl! One concern was when the guys took over the vocal duty but they are fine, maybe too good as the 2 tracks of 12 with male lead vocals would not be out of place in a band called... 'Chvrches' (but with male leads vocals). The music itself has a big nod and wink to 1980's synth pop, lots of 80's sounds but done with 2013 technology. Chvrches have pulled it off and have produced a fine album. If I could give half scores 4.5 out of 5. Certainly in my top 10 so far for 2013 but behind the wonderful experimental Braids flourish // perish and doom darkwave/rock of Chelsea Wolfe.
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on 23 November 2013
I'd heard a few tracks from this album on the radio, and loved the '80's electronic feel and the fantastic vocals, so I decided to order the album. I was extremely impressed, only a couple of "dud" tracks on the entire album.

Now for the BUT, and it does deserve to be in capitals. While the group are excellent, the post production and mixing of the album is poor at best, some of the tracks are over compressed, and if you listen on a proper HiFi, you will be disappointed in the sound quality. I hope they re-record this album in the UK, where the recording studios can do a better job!

I would have given 5 stars, but for the sound & production quality.
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on 12 October 2016
As a metal head, I scoffed when my friend told me that she listened to this electronic synth-pop group called "chu-vuur-chis" or something like that. She would always talk about them and was clearly obsessed with the members. Her constant yammering about them really annoyed me and she knew that. So she obviously found it hilarious when she got me "The Bones Of What You Believe" for Christmas in 2014. I never touched it for about 6 months as I thought that I would hate it until one night when I was bored out of my mind. I was rummaging around under my bed for some old video games and pulled it out. I listened to it and hand on my heart I would never go back. It is probably one of my top 5 most played albums currently, so when I purchased a turntable a few days ago, this was one of the first records I got. I was extremely pleased with it. The artwork on the cover is just so vibrant and stands out among my (mostly metal) collection of records. No matter what your musical taste, this is a very easy record to listen to and enjoy. You will find yourself tapping your feet at the more beat focused songs such as "Lungs" and "Night Sky", and closing your eyes and just absorbing the sound of Ian and Martins synthesisers, in songs such as "We Sink" and "Tether". A lot of reviewers of this LP have said that the songs that feature Doherty's vocals ("Under The Tide" and "You Caught The Light") seem to fall a bit short in terms of vocal range and passion. However I disagree. I feel that his voice is a great change in pace from Mayberry's sweet and confident vocals. It gives the members of this band character, almost as if they have an alter ego, something a lot of other similar bands try and fail at. Martin seems more timid on the mic, wether that be because he is not as assured with his singing or if he it putting it on to add to the story telling that this album does so excellently. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed his vocals.
Ratings for each song :
The Mother We Share - * * * * *
We Sink - * * * * *
Gun - * * * *
Tether - * * * * *
Lies - * * *
Under The Tide - * * * *
Recover - * * * *
Night Sky - * * * * *
Science/Visions - * * * * *
Lungs - * * * * *
By The Throat - * *
You Caught The Light - * * * *
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on 4 February 2014
In a quiet unassuming way, just knocking out one great song after another, without seeming effort, each song a lot better than the average pop song, this band has sky-rocketed to a great band of our age - and one of the best bands to come out of Scotland in recent times.

So out there, quietly, musical talent works at its extraordinary craft, transforming our head-space into a new dimension - a dimension called Chvrches, a mysterious alien spelling, a mysterious alien symbolism.

What is happening here I think is MUSIC taking a FRONT seat, and all the rest though it may be fun or important been placed secondary.

How many great bands and great artists go on after greatness to produce so much repetitive musical pabulum - notably the U2's and Coldplay's of this world - capable of writing great songs and great music, yet churning out disappointingly average works - a slave to mass appeal maybe, and the love of mere success, not of actual music - they are trying to 'compute' a formula for maximum success - yugh!

But without effort Chvrches are 'cool' without even trying - that is the long road to success ie creating actual good music.

Like the best synth pop music this album has vocals both angelic and street-wise, it has pathos yet bounce and energy, it has vitality. It surprises with unexpected changes in pace and rhythm, and a finely woven texture underlies these songs.

In the spirit of Faithless and Maxi Jazz, this is now decidedly MY CHVRCH!
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