PVRIS – Use Me

This IS pop and it stands up with the absolute best in its field.
Label:
Released: 28th August 2020
Rating: ★★★★

It takes less than a minute to become clear that here, on PVRIS’ third album, is where a new beginning starts. ‘Use Me’, a record born from band leader Lynn Gunn’s newfound self-confidence and her acceptance of the spotlight, is a stunning shift. What once was black and white becomes vivid technicolour, carrying on the evolution that the ‘Hallucinations’ EP hinted at. The shine of the bright light has revealed a band on the brink of something even bigger than before.

With beats as sharp as a knife, ‘Gimme A Minute’ lays the template, as Lynn wrests control of her own, and the band’s, destiny. Over a throbbing synth beat, she roars for space before the confirmation of ‘Dead Weight’ that the days of her being taken advantage of are over. Empowering doesn’t seem a big enough word to cover it, but with it comes an emotional punch too. “Feels good to be alive but I hate my life” she reveals at one point, the battles and scars that were still partly-hidden on’ All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell’ revealed to the world here.

Much has been made of PVRIS’ recent move towards pop, but in truth, those moments have always been tucked in there. If anything, this record follows the ‘Hallucinations’ EP by resetting the dial even further and bringing those inclinations to the fore. ‘Use Me’ sees both leader and band pull all their ideas and themes together, coalescing the fragments into something powerful and unbreakable. By the time the record closes with the delicious ‘Wish You Well’, it’s clear that isn’t ‘just’ PVRIS doing a pop record. This IS pop and it stands up with the absolute best in its field.

Jamie MacMillan

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