2014’s White Noise ranks amongst my favourite albums of all time. The the mixture of dark pop and rock music was intoxicatingly beautiful coupled with refreshingly honest writing by lead singer Lynn Gunn. Now PVRIS are back with their second album, All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, promising a more stripped back sound and more honest lyrics than ever. When I heard about the personal hell Gunn seemed to have gone through in order to create this album, I was at first a little sceptical – would it all be worth it just for the sake of an album? But thankfully, she seems to be out the other side of that difficult time, and has created one of her most honest pieces of work to date, a hard task considering that she’s known for her brutally honest lyrics.
While White Noise had a beautifully full sound, swathed in metaphor, this album most definitely has a colder, more direct approach. In the chorus of second single, ‘What’s Wrong’, Gunn sings ‘don’t need a metaphor for you to know I’m miserable’, forgoing the imagery created in the previous album and just saying exactly what she’s thinking. And if that sounds critical, trust me, it isn’t. While the sound is different, it is no less beautiful in it’s own way, creating a completely different atmosphere. If anything, that just shows the bands’ versatility. The brutal honesty continues in another of the records best songs, ‘Half’. The song contains the chorus: ‘Never wanted to be here now/One foot in the grave, other on the ground/I can’t process what I’m feeling now/This skin I can do without’, yet more lyrics that paint an honest picture of how difficult the creation of this album was.
But I have one main problem with this album; the lack of variety. Other than the aforementioned two songs, this album never really changes things up all that much. Don’t get me wrong, the sound and overall mood that this album creates is beautiful, but there is too much that just sounds the same, or seems to lack inspiration. I love this band, and by no means is this a bad album, I was just expecting more. However, whether you’re a fan of this band or not, there’ll be things to take from this album.
Best songs: What’s Wrong, Half, No Mercy