Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Sep 24, 2013
    100
    She, Doherty, and multi-instrumentalist Iain Cook have crafted one of the year’s best albums, which means that buzz won’t be dying down any time soon.
  2. Sep 23, 2013
    90
    At a focused 48-minutes, The Bones of What You Believe comes soaring through and makes its difficult for you not to press replay when it all fades out.
  3. 90
    Simply put, they’ve evolved from a hype band to something much more coveted: a great band.
  4. Sep 17, 2013
    90
    As twelve equally matched moments of varied tone but consistent brilliance, it's nothing short of exactly what was expected--the start of something even bigger.
  5. Sep 12, 2013
    90
    Even more devastation stems fro Iain Cook and Martin Doherty's sophisticated and catchy layers of synthesizers and vocal loops. [Oct 2013, p.82]
  6. Sep 12, 2013
    90
    The Bones Of What You Believe is an exceptionally strong debut where every track is a potential single.
  7. Nov 21, 2013
    89
    The Scottish trio aren't trying to subvert anything on debut long-player The Bones of What You Believe, churning out hard-driving and utterly undeniable electro-pop, and the hooks arrive absolutely relentless.
  8. Sep 25, 2013
    85
    For now, on record, Chvrches know how go big on an intimate scale, to remind us of the stuff that keeps us living.
  9. 83
    CHVRCHES have constructed a debut record that will not lose its luster with each successive spin, and proven that they have the substance to remain aloft as their cosmic kin come crashing down to Earth.
  10. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    All told it's a captivating listen that's proudly individualistic, heart-warmingly intelligent and beautifully intonated. [Nov 2013, p.102]
  11. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    A bold and encouraging modern pop debut. [Nov 2013, p.90]
  12. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    The Bones of What You Believe is one of the most unabashedly sincere works of indie pop.
  13. Sep 30, 2013
    80
    It might not represent a radical new kind of futurism, but at its yearning, technicolor best The Bones of What You Believe captures the sound of pop music working out how to use the recent past to move slowly but surely again into the future.
  14. Sep 24, 2013
    80
    CHVRCHES' debut is at its best on its revenge tunes.
  15. Sep 24, 2013
    80
    belt. Even when Chvrches are just competently mopey, their neon-Eighties visions are far from retro pose-striking.
  16. 80
    All told, while not every track has the immediacy of 'Lies' or 'Recover', there's not a weak one among them.
  17. Sep 23, 2013
    80
    There's a disarming emotional directness to The Bones of What You Believe that makes it a unique, fully realized take on a style that seemed close to being played out.
  18. Sep 20, 2013
    80
    Those who care not to pay much attention to lyrics might just find themselves bawling on the dancefloor without quite knowing why, as these earworm tunes form a perfect delivery system for the heartbreak (and occasionally a little vengeance) contained at their very core.
  19. Sep 18, 2013
    80
    There’s no denying that the band has released a fully coherent statement.
  20. 80
    A soundtrack for life’s glorious heights and crumbling nadirs.
  21. Sep 12, 2013
    80
    "You Caught the Light" is the slowest and longest song on the album, and not representative of the band's strengths--a fine but still curious conclusion to an otherwise glorious debut. [Aug-Sep 2013, p.89]
  22. Sep 12, 2013
    76
    The Bones of What You Believe hits so many high notes with its surprisingly simplistic delivery that it’s impossible not to recommend to even the most jaded of listeners. Yes it is at times sickly sweet, but that’s part of the charm.
  23. 75
    While their debut doesn't always maintain those kinds of highs [as singles Recover or Lies], it still provides plenty of charmingly straightforward indie-disco pleasures. [4 Oct 2013, p.64]
  24. Sep 24, 2013
    75
    This record should do the trick for everyone.
  25. Oct 2, 2013
    70
    Chvrches and Mayberry have a weirdly mannered way with smartly penned romanticism.
  26. Sep 24, 2013
    70
    It's questionable whether Chvrches' sound can survive and stretch any further for future material, but for the time being, The Bones of What You Believe is an impressive slate of sonic pleasures from a young band still experimenting with a room full of synths.
  27. Sep 24, 2013
    70
    The songs here are cohesive but never awkwardly uniform.
  28. 70
    It may have taken a while for The Bones Of What You Believe to arrive, but it more than meets the standards of all the tantalizing sneak previews.
  29. Sep 23, 2013
    70
    The synthesizers gleam with artificial precision; so, at first, do the vocals, chopped into perfectly pitched samples over a majestic beat and swirling major chords. But then a human factor kicks in.
  30. Sep 12, 2013
    70
    While their pristine sound lacks grit, in lyrical terms the troubled "Lies" and "The Mother We Share" show the Chvrches are blessed with hidden depths. [Oct 2013, p.64]
  31. They write very strong songs, but aural satiation sinks in over Bones‘ 48 minute runtime.
  32. Oct 11, 2013
    60
    These singles are still some of the best music being put out today, but the filler songs are so forgettable that it's hard to see the forest through the trees.
  33. Sep 23, 2013
    60
    There's enough crunch to their hooky electropop to dispel accusations of unwarranted hype.
  34. Sep 23, 2013
    60
    It is powerful but blunt electronic pop; hooks always aimed to tear, melodrama at an uncomfortable volume. Still it often works.
  35. Dec 17, 2013
    50
    The Bones of What You Believe loses steam quickly, leaving nothing new that approaches the promise of the group’s early releases.
  36. Sep 23, 2013
    50
    While the album has its fair share of sweet spots, the handful of capable melodies never quite balances out its bizarre impulses or the utter lack of thematic unity.
  37. Sep 20, 2013
    50
    It is hard to care too much about something this safe.
  38. Sep 27, 2013
    40
    It’s merely average, one likely to fade into memory once the buzz dies down and the fire goes out.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Sep 26, 2013
    10
    This is really one of the most accessible albums I've heard this year. You really can't fault well-crafted pop albums for sticking to the genre; I find it a complete buzzkill to speculate on the possible future when they've released one album. Every song on this is a pretty perfectly crafted pop song, in the best sense. Full Review »
  2. Sep 24, 2013
    7
    Crystal clear vocals, flawless production and a sound which is both familiar and fresh this is a band who puts their best foot forward. "Take no chances" Lauren sings on 'Tether', and to some degree they take their own advice. This might not have been the adventurous debut many had anticipated, but they do what they do best, which is upbeat, likeable electronic pop. This is a strong showing, but I fear in coming years it will not be too memorable. Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2013
    6
    This is shiny, it's fun, and it's an okay album. Yet, there are a myriad of flaws. The songwriting, though often interesting, is lacking. Chvrches seems to be focusing on the sound, but the mood never varies much, and there is quite a bit of sameness. The lyrics here are passable, but suffer from being juvenile and overly simplistic. There are some gorgeous arrangements, and the production here is very lush and tactful. A lot of these songs would work very well on their own, but this, as an album, is a little less than the sum of the parts.

    A solid debut, but far from perfect.
    Full Review »