The actual music is unable to stand out as well. While it does make you want to dance, that effect is short lived. It comes in with such a rush, harmonizing with Lauren’s vocals, but then it just stays there. Nothing fuels it on its own. When the vocals are absent, the electronic beats are left high and dry, with nothing to support them, letting the groove die fast, only to be brought back to life by Lauren. In the song “Tether,” she can stand on her own under just a low electronic hum. The groove is quiet, but the emotion is still there. Then she falls out of the song, and the music becomes a standard electronica dance soundtrack. There is nothing special about the music, and it needs the aid of the vocals to truly work.
“Under the Tide” works the same way too, but it doesn’t have her vocals. A very laid back and older sounding male voice is exchanged for her youthful energy. The only time she is present is during harmonies between verses. These would be the parts that people would sing along to in concerts, because her voice just makes you want to be on board with the whole thing. These harmonies keep “Under the Tide” from being devoid of energy.
Where the music does stand out is in a song like “Gun.” The beat finds its niche in coming in on accented words. It is nothing that you could hum along to, but it supports the best part of the song, really making it seem better than it actually is. The lyrics of this song are pretty great as well.
“Hide. Hide. I have burned your bridges.
Now I’ll be a gun
And it’s you I’ll come for.”
What I like about this is the contrast between a young woman’s innocent voice and the sharpness of these lyrics. And guess what? There is only the light hum of a beat echoing in the background, accenting these vocals. It is moments like this that make the entire album worth a listen, even despite its flaws.
“The Bones of What You Believe” is a great album, but it would fall apart if it were not for the vocals. Chvrches stands out in their ability to create a hypnotic atmosphere. Not many groups can do that. While the music may be lackluster at times and some of the sound choices are questionable, this album is great to listen to no matter what mood you are in. The sound they create falls to a few cliches, but it still runs strong with mesmerizing harmonies and energetic vocals.