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Whereas previous records mixed the rousing with the artsy and insular, Love is Dead is full of widescreen anthems. For the first time, the trio brought in outside producers, most notably hit-maker Greg Kurstin (Adele, Pink).
While the music is relentlessly hook-filled with reliably explosive choruses, the lyrics offer a conflicted view of love, often accusatory or questioning. ``Good intentions never good enough,'' Lauren Mayberry sings in the seemingly chipper Get Out. And the National's dour Matt Berninger drops in for an argumentative duet, My Enemy. Love is Dead is sometimes heavy-handed in both its joyful tone and cynical sentiments, but the friction is often fascinating.
- Steve Klinge/TCA