Fall from Heaven
For listeners expecting PVRIS to take the bait their debut planted and soar up from the dark themes into the pop spectrum, this trio has news for you. Instead of taking the Paramore route straight to the pop charts, PVRIS burrows into their dark side and takes a fall from “Heaven” that amplifies their feelings and sound. How appropriate then, that the album was recorded in a haunted church in upstate New York. Front woman Lynn Gunn’s vocals are a balancing act between guttural belting and soothing alto, the pairing becoming the band’s signature. All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell is the haunting intersection of alternative rock on the cusp of pop.
Naturally, the album kicks off on the first single, “Heaven.” It doesn’t paint the ethereal, expansive white clouds picture but instead, it shatters the illusion. “You took my heart / you took my heaven away,” Gunn wails. The trio then splits in “Half” with “one foot in the grave, the other on the ground.” Two alternative pop singles follow. Gunn affirms she doesn’t need “Anyone Else” but the sentiment is left open ended by the hollow harp instrumental at its close. “What’s Wrong” is sure to be the album’s biggest hit, despite the heavy lyrics. As a play on the album’s theme of the afterlife, Gunn declares, “No I never sold my soul / if I ever do, throw my bones to the wolves.” Simply put, the song alludes to a depressed state of mind. Or as Gunn puts it, “I don’t need a metaphor for you to know I’m miserable.”
“Same Soul” is a play on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” and listeners are shown “No Mercy” with a thumping alt-rock anthem. When the trio goes soft, it appropriately takes on a ghostly quality. This can be heard on “Separate,” where Gunn explains the disconnect between her head and her heart. The final track hints at a brighter horizon. “Nola 1” strays from brash vocals and the light, layered guitar loops make this the most pop-sounding song on the album.
PVRIS have matured from White Noise, diving deeper into what plagues the heart, mind and spirit. What could have been a sorrowful, mundane display of haunted artists, feels instead tactful in its emphasis on the empathetic lyrics and purposeful, upbeat instrumentals. All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell was co-produced by ghosts, and they stay with you long after the music stops.