Review: PVRIS — Use Me

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 at 12:37 PM
Review: PVRIS — Use Me by Margeaux Dase

PVRIS (pronounced Paris) released their new album, “Use Me,” on Aug. 28 through Warner Music. This is their third full-length record since the band’s inception in 2012, and it’s already one of my all-time favorites. After years of only charting on the Billboard U.S. Alternative charts, this should be the album that breaks the band into the mainstream.

I’ve been following the band since their first album, “White Noise.” Though it was full of great songs to sing and dance along to, the lyrics lacked depth and were hard to relate to. The second record, “All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell,” was an improvement, but some songs sounded too similar to each other. It’s clear with “Use Me” that frontperson Lynn Gunn spent time improving her talent and skills, rather than changing her sound, and it paid off very well. 

The band is currently comprised of Gunn and bassist Brian MacDonald. Two days before the album release, lead guitarist, Alex Babinski, was fired for sexual misconduct allegations. On Twitter, PVRIS released a statement saying they wanted the band’s following to feel safe and loved.

PVRIS, especially Gunn, has always been there to stand up for those less heard. With the last album, she admitted that a lot of pain heard through their music was related to coming out and the pressures surrounding that process. She had been so fearful of her family turning against her, and she used that feeling to create. The reveal served as a step for growth both professionally and personally. On “Use Me,” it’s clear that she’s fully embraced her sexuality and, for once, has let her love life serve as inspiration. This is apparent in the song “Loveless,” when Gunn sings: “I gave you tears when you wanted emotion / Said it was love / So I cried out an ocean for you.”

With this album, Gunn has really taken the chance to step out of the shadows yet again, but this time as a woman. Taking charge as the main force behind the band, she bucks the trend of alternative music culture, which can cause non-men to shrink down and, at least partially, avoid full credit. 

“Use Me” is a work of art that focuses on Gunn and her amazing talent vocally, musically, as a songwriter, and as a producer. The collection of songs is more authentic than anything she has written before. Along with baring her heart and soul, she’s also let each song be instrumentally beautiful and speak to our souls. In songs like “Old Wounds” and “Wish You Well,” Gunn puts feelings into words in uncommon ways. It’s so clear she has loved and lost, and that’s changed who she was. Overall, these songs aren’t just filled with emotion and depth, but also are great songs to jam out to. 

In time we will see PVRIS’s rise on Billboard's Top 200. 

Margeaux Dase is a music writer for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: music review

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