Very strong collection of tracks. Some absolute corkers on this album. Great instrumentals, clever songwriting and angelic vocals. Always look forward to hearing: Lies, We Sink, Recover. Likely to skip: Under the Tide, By the Throat
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.
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.
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.
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. Recommended
Electro-Pop is currently very popular and this album shouldn't dampen the trend as Chvrches are fine purveyors of the genre. If you were (or are now) a lover of the 80's phenomenon you'll find plenty to enjoy here as the ghosts of The Human League/Erasure/Howard Jones/Ultravox are not far away albeit obviously updated for the new generation. There are a couple of great tracks on the album, the opener 'The mother we share' which is ultra catchy and 'Recover' with it's staccato style singing. Most of the songs feature Lauren's high pitched but still lovely vocals and a couple of tracks feature a male vocal instead, which made a nice change. Most of the other tracks are very good too ('Tether' is a particularly good ballad) although it does tend to flag somewhat towards the end although the closer 'You caught the light' is a departure from the norm with an ethereal male vocal over echoey/distorted synths (could be guitars?). A promising debut.