September 14, 2020
PVRIS have topped themselves with this experimental and explosive sophomore album and adapting to the changing musical landscape alongside their fans.
Frontwoman Lynn Gunn bares her soul displaying a new level of vulnerability and sharing a side we have never seen before on Use Me. Most songs on the album have been heard before but having the full album creates a much deeper and meaningful story to this already captivating sophomore LP. Gunn took full creative direction as frontwoman, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer which she produced alongside JT Daly. The album tells a story from start to finish showing the intense emotions Gunn felt throughout the three years it took to create the album – the tracks are all perfectly placed and sees PVRIS experiment with R&B and hip-hop beats.
The opening track ‘Gimme A Minute’ sets the tone for the album, featuring an explosive electro-enthused anthem which depicts a cry for help for life to stop for a minute. This leads perfectly to the next track ‘Dead Weight’ which is also the lead single of the album, it sees Gunn reclaim her worth and letting go of toxic people. It’s a dance high energy rock track with a deeper sentiment. The ability to dance to the track is almost symbolic of the game you play with people who won’t let you set boundaries or be free from their hold on you.
Use Me sees PVRIS experiment with a new sound signifying a new era for the once metalcore band. ‘Stay Gold’ is a perfect example for their new musical direction; for the first time we see PVRIS use R&B influences merged with synths and sees the use of vocoder which has become an incredibly popular feature in the music of today. These musical influences are also noticed in ‘Good To Be Alive’ which has to be one of my favourite tracks from the album; it features bluesy guitars creating a calming atmosphere whilst Gunn sings “Its good to be alive, but I hate my life”. PVRIS also have an acoustic track on the album called ‘Loveless’ which sees Gunn’s vocals take centre stage and is fantastic edition to the record.
Despite PVRIS changing their musical sound there are still many elements of this album which mirror the same themes of their debut album White Noise and their second album All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell. For example, ‘Wish You Well’ seems to be a response to ‘Same Soul’ from All We Know Of Heaven… shown in the lines “I think we’ve loved a thousands lives, I try to find you every time” from the latter to “All the other lives we had together”. The lyrics show that Gunn knows this person may be their soulmate, but she’s ready to let them go and move on. The tone of both songs is completely different as well ‘Same Soul’ is more aggressive whilst ‘Wish You Well’ is dreamy and soothing with a prominent bass. The juxtaposition between the tracks shows Gunn’s personal growth and newfound self-worth.
Brian MacDonald’s bass played a prominent role on Use Me; it’s most noticeable in title track ‘Use Me’ which is an incredibly beautiful track featuring 070 Shake and sees PVRIS intertwine the harp and guitar with the heavy bass. ‘January Rain’ also features a heavy bass and echoes a message presented in the later track ‘Wish You Well’. In ‘January Rain’ Gunn sings “the psychic was right, a beautiful lie” and in ‘Wish You Well’ Gunn sings “psychic told me something in September”. This further highlights that through Use Me we go on a journey with Gunn and her own journey of accepting a love lost.
Use Me tops their last album by miles and sees PVRIS grow as a band alongside their fans. It’s an immaculate album and sees Gunn tell her story and transformation of love to loss whilst experimenting with a completely new sound. The album was delayed twice but was certainly worth the wait!
Listen to Use Me via Warner Records now. Check out ‘Dead Weight’ down below.
Editor 2020/21 and a History student with a Britney Spears addiction.