Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Buy On
  1. 100
    Love Is Dead continues to ask questions of the world, but realises they’re not always black and white, or in CHVRCHES case, light or dark.
  2. May 23, 2018
    90
    The third album by Glasgow’s Chvrches, Love is Dead, is the sound of your heart as it falls back in love.
  3. May 31, 2018
    88
    Chvrches have made their most fully-realized effort to date (musically, anyway).
  4. Jun 11, 2018
    80
    Heavily weighty with fiery doom and gloom, Lauren Mayberry masters the art of colourfully abstract lyrics.
  5. May 29, 2018
    80
    Over two self-produced top 10 albums, Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty and Iain Cook, all graduates of alternative and post-rock bands, have refined a sound that keeps one foot in indie electronica, the other in modern radio pop and its heart in 80s synths.
  6. May 25, 2018
    80
    Celebratory, rich and more confident than ever before, they’re yet again the finest versions of themselves.
  7. 80
    Love Is Dead manages to balance hopeful, utopian pop with a darker, gloomier undercurrent.
  8. May 24, 2018
    80
    Not exactly a faultless record, by any stretch of the imagination, Love Is Dead nonetheless confirms that The Bones of What You Believe was far from a fluke effort and that the band, regardless of the success found in the intervening years, are still capable of delivering exciting, engaging and boundary-pushing synth-pop when it really matters.
  9. Mojo
    May 21, 2018
    80
    Many sure-footed, instantly memorable songs. [Jun 2018, p.88]
  10. May 21, 2018
    80
    Love Is Dead shows CHVRCHES attaining a greater urgency and darkness in tracks such as the dramatic, M83-esque Deliverance and My Enemy, a stuttering, drugged up duet between Mayberry and The National’s Matt Berninger.
  11. May 29, 2018
    77
    Love Is Dead brims with that kind of confidence: assertive but not showy, passionate but not gaudy, and wholly necessary.
  12. May 25, 2018
    75
    The songs sound bigger and more layered, but the core of hook-laden, synth-based pop and Lauren Mayberry’s lilting vocals remains undisturbed.
  13. May 25, 2018
    70
    "Deliverance" is spiky yet inviting, its lyrics poking at the hypocrisy of religion; "Never Say Die" builds its drama with swooning synths, with Mayberry's clipped "never-never-never" on the chorus providing an italicized exclamation point.
  14. May 25, 2018
    70
    The most impressive thing about Love is Dead might be that as big as its sound gets, Chvrches never lose touch with the humanity that's at the core of their music.
  15. May 24, 2018
    70
    So much goes right here, but in scrubbing their songs of imperfections, they've also magnified their flaws. Though not quite stuck in neutral, it will certainly please the band's ever-expanding fan base while not really moving the needle creatively enough to convince sceptics that their initial opinions were unfounded.
  16. May 30, 2018
    63
    Love Is Dead is admirably righteous, but it’s chilly, lacking the rallying impact of peers who have shown that empathy is more powerful than polemic.
  17. Jul 25, 2018
    60
    Love is Dead is formally earnest and it succumbs as a product of its (unearnest) production, an art of sincerity lost underneath. Love is Dead, damnably, is sincerity in place of irony, which is to say sincerity outside irony. It has no world to tease of tense.
  18. May 30, 2018
    60
    Love Is Dead is not a terrible album and it certainly has its moments, but it’s not as engaging or interesting as its predecessors.
  19. May 25, 2018
    60
    Love Is Dead is not a bad album, it's just that this felt like CHVRCHES' time for a great one. Love Is Dead is not that, either.
  20. May 24, 2018
    60
    In 2018, as it becomes more pressing than ever for artists to use their platforms to speak out, Love Is Dead pursues clarity, both in production and politics, with mixed results.
  21. Uncut
    May 24, 2018
    60
    Though the stadium-EDM elements of "Miracle" are an unwelcome addition and there's a slight clash between two brands of brooding, when Matt Berninger guests on "My Enemy," Chvrches excel at an electro-pop simulacrum that's actually more craftily structured than most of their favourite records of 1982. [Jul 2018, p.26]
  22. May 24, 2018
    60
    It’s difficult not to see how this album, in an attempt to appeal to a much wider audience, won’t end up splitting their fanbase. It won’t alienate anyone who wants a fine pop album, but it may disappoint those who had come to expect something more interesting than that from the trio.
  23. Q Magazine
    May 21, 2018
    60
    Love Is Dead's songs, however, don't so much burrow into your brain as thwack you over the head, and the band's tendency to fashion refrains from little more than the song titles means some tracks are memorable simply by dint of merciless repetition. [Jul 2018, p.114]
  24. 58
    Many of these songs will soar in arenas and on festival main stages. They’re expansive, epic, and Mayberry’s powerful voice never wavers. But that openness comes at a price, and throughout Love Is Dead, every time CHVRCHES have the chance to get stranger, messier, and more unique, they rein in their eccentricities, going cleaner and more general.
  25. 50
    All of those tracks ["God’s Plan," "My Enemy" and "Wonderland"] feel sparse, built softly with a light touch, which is why the overblown, full-steam-ahead manner of much of the rest of the album is so maddening and--given their past pronouncements on big studios and producers--so utterly perplexing.
  26. May 21, 2018
    50
    The handful of songs produced by the band themselves—“My Enemy,” the brooding new wave track “God's Plan,” and the gentle ballad “Really Gone”—stand out in their deviation from the glossy, monolithic tracks helmed by producer Greg Kurstin.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 91
  2. Negative: 8 out of 91
  1. May 25, 2018
    1
    Really bland predictable lyrics and not one song that really sticks with you. Stick with Beach House, Wye Oak, Courtney Barnett etc if youReally bland predictable lyrics and not one song that really sticks with you. Stick with Beach House, Wye Oak, Courtney Barnett etc if you want something decent. Really disappointed but can't say I'm surprised. Full Review »
  2. May 26, 2018
    3
    As a long time Chvrches fan (seriously, I love this band) I am incredibly disappointed. Cheap hooks and weak lyrics. It's like a watered downAs a long time Chvrches fan (seriously, I love this band) I am incredibly disappointed. Cheap hooks and weak lyrics. It's like a watered down Ellie Goulding record. I was so excited for this with all the hype they put on it but it's really just a cringy attempt at being super artsy. As a Cincinnati native and The National fan, I was very excited when Matt Beringer was put on the record. But gosh he was literally the only good thing that happened on that track. It was also a musical and production disappointment, the chugging claps on Get Out and the cliché radio-style vocal editing on Miracle are two that come to mind. Seriously, this is such a step down for them that winds up being an incredibly safe and predictable record. I'm severely disappointed. Heaven/Hell seems to be the only track that sticks with me as being decent overall. Full Review »
  3. May 26, 2018
    5
    This was a massive disappointment. CHVRCHES are one of my favorite current pop bands. The Bones of What You Believe is one of my favoriteThis was a massive disappointment. CHVRCHES are one of my favorite current pop bands. The Bones of What You Believe is one of my favorite albums ever, and Every Open Eye was a solid follow-up. So I was excited when the band came back with this new album. However, I have not heard any of the singles coming forward. If I did, then I would have known to fear. And all of this can be blamed on one man, Greg Kurstin. He's well known for producing music for Adele, Sia, Lily Allen, and for indie-leaning acts like the first Foster the People album, the Shin's Port of Morrow, and the last two Tegan and Sara albums where they went pop, and for some reason the latest Foo Fighters album that was bland, and the soundtrack for that god-awful Annie remake back in 2014. And this has all the problems that Greg Kurstin has, overproduced and cluttered. While this more arena-friendly synthpop sound might work for CHVRCHES since they do know how to write catchy anthems, this just did not work. The production sounds way too cluttered and strangling lead singer Lauren Mayberry's pixie-like vocals. While Mayberry never was the showiest singer, she does have a prescience that does lead well to their trademark retro-synthpop. However the production is meant for more showier and expressive singers, not Mayberry. Songs like Get Out and the EDM-like Never Say Die completely smother her vocals. It highlights how limited of a singer she really is, which is never good! Although to be fair she sounds better than the male vocals that take the lead on God's Plan! Not to mention that this is the worst CHVRCHES album in terms of hooks and choruses. While they aren't known for writing deep and philosophical lyrics, they know how to write a pop song! One of the reason why songs like the Mother We Share and Leave a Trace being so damn good! Love is Dead, meanwhile, has hooks that fall flat on it's face. Whether it's cheap lyrical repetition, like on the embarrassing attempt at an EDM banger on Miracle, or just weak chorus melodies, like on Get Out (which is a shame because it does have a nice synth riff). There are a few songs that are decent. Deliverance and Graves do sound close to a classic CHVRCHES sound but never quite getting to the tight melodies and airy synths that was on their first two albums, the Matt Berninger (frontman of the National and EL VY) featuring song My Enemy is a decent slower moment that was very welcome, even though Matt sounds out of place for this style of electronic music when compared to his work on EL VY (say what you will abut that project at least it matches Matt's baritone), and Heaven/Hell is the strongest song on the album, and to be fair the melodies are nice in the songs even with the blaring production highlighting none of that. I can see some fans getting into this album, but honestly this is nowhere as close as The Bones of What You Believe or Every Open Eye, not even by a mile. It's not flat-out terrible, but damn it it could have been so much better! Full Review »