Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES is the kind of live performer who doesn’t smile nor frown; if I had to pick one emotion, it would be that she looks rather pissed off. And on Every Open Eye, this kind of attitude is hard for me to ignore — it’s not indifference I hear in hear voice, but she doesn’t exactly sound like she’s happy to be here, either.
The problem is that CHVRCHES makes poppy, hooky, catchy music, and I’m not sure too many people are listening to the words that clearly matter — because, let me be clear here — I’m almost positive Mayberry is passionate toward what she’s singing about.
Only a few songs really work on Every Open Eye. It opens with its strongest two tracks, “Never Ending Circles” and “Leave a Trace,” and maybe that’s the problem — the rest of tracks don’t quite measure up. Songs like “Make Them Gold” and “Playing Dead” sound as if they’ve been pulled from the oven a few minutes too soon. “Clearest Blue,” “Empty Threat,” and “Afterglow” have life and better bite, but not enough to call this a resounding success.