The Bride (album)

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The Bride
Bat for Lashes - The Bride.png
Studio album by
Released1 July 2016 (2016-07-01)
Recorded2012–15
Genre
Length47:32
LabelParlophone
Producer
Bat for Lashes chronology
The Haunted Man
(2012)
The Bride
(2016)
Singles from The Bride
  1. "In God's House"
    Released: 11 March 2016
  2. "Sunday Love"
    Released: 27 May 2016
  3. "Joe's Dream"
    Released: 7 June 2016
  4. "If I Knew" / "In Your Bed"
    Released: 16 December 2016

The Bride is the fourth studio album by English singer-songwriter Natasha Khan, professionally known as Bat for Lashes. It was released on 1 July 2016 by Parlophone. The album was produced by Khan, with co-production from Ben Christophers, Simone Felice, David Baron, Dan Carey, Jacknife Lee and Matt "Aqualung" Hales. The Bride was preceded by the digital promotional release "I Do", then followed by the singles "In God's House", "Sunday Love", "Joe's Dream", and the double A-side release of "If I Knew" and "In Your Bed".[2]

Background[edit]

While promoting her side project Sexwitch, which she formed with Dan Carey and the indie rock band Toy, Khan stated that she was working on a new album.[3] She stated that it was linked to a short film she had made about a woman going through a tragedy on her wedding day and that the album would be hopefully released in spring of 2016. In February 2016, Khan started posting preview photos from her collaboration with photographer Neil Krug. On 19 February 2016, she released a promotional single titled "I Do" with cryptic artwork stating "Save the Date, 1st July 2016".[4] The lead single from the album, "In God's House", debuted on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show on 10 March,[5] and was released digitally the following day.[6]

Concept, release and artwork[edit]

According to The Bride's press release, the work is a concept album that follows the story of a woman, whose fiancé dies in a car crash on the way to their wedding. The album follows her as she decides to go on the honeymoon alone and her emotions as she deals with the tragedy.[7] Khan commented that "the trauma and the grief from the death of Joe, the groom, ... [is] ... more of a metaphor and it allows me to explore the concept of love in general, which requires a death of sorts."[8]

The album was created with past collaborators Simone Felice, Dan Carey, Head and Ben Christophers.[9] Release of the album was preceded by the singles "In God's House" and "Sunday Love", both with music videos directed by Khan herself and John DeMenil. To promote the album, Bat for Lashes embarked on a small tour which consisted of performing in a number of churches to match the wedding theme. Fans and attendees were asked to wear formal attire to the shows. The album's artwork was made in collaboration with photographer Neil Krug and was shot over the course of a year. The CD and vinyl feature a booklet and prints of the photos from this collaboration.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[10]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. ClubB+[12]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[13]
DIY4/5 stars[14]
The Guardian4/5 stars[15]
NME4/5[16]
Pitchfork7.6/10[17]
Q4/5 stars[18]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[19]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[20]

The Bride received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 78, based on 30 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[10] Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph hailed The Bride as "a beautiful, beguiling, disturbing and rewarding album of love, loss, grief and recovery from one of the most intriguing singer-songwriters currently active in British music, of either gender."[13] Rachel Aroesti of The Guardian stated, "Barring 'Sunday Love' [...] this is a collection of darkly intriguing dirges, a battle for dominance between Khan's intimate, exquisitely beautiful vocal and subtly unnerving sonic dissonance at its heart."[15] Larry Bartleet of the NME viewed the album as Khan's "most ambitious yet" and remarked that she "refuses to yield crossover hits like 2009's 'Daniel' [...] opting instead for a slow style of storytelling that rewards the patient listener."[16] George Garner of Q dubbed it Khan's "boldest album yet" and wrote, "In the moving figure of The Bride, Khan has delivered her defining statement as an artist."[18] Nina Keen of DIY noted that "[t]here's a resistance [to] clichés on this record, and Khan gives a freshness and a sincerity to her otherwise ethereal music", calling the album "a beautiful, complex and often harrowing listening experience."[14]

Pitchfork's Cameron Cook said the album "may be Bat for Lashes' most ambitious project yet" and commented, "Its few shortcomings aside, The Bride is further proof that Khan, unlike almost all of her contemporaries, understands how to wade into mystical realms and emerge with big, beguiling pop."[17] Kory Grow of Rolling Stone felt that although "the album lags when the story gets too heavy", "there are many songs on The Bride that transcend its thematic conceit and stand on their own as unique puzzle pieces in Kahn's steadfastly mystifying persona."[19] Heather Phares of AllMusic stated that the album "begins vividly", but was unimpressed with its "slower" second half, concluding that "while Khan used restraint eloquently on The Haunted Man, The Bride is beautifully crafted, but not always thrilling."[11] Katie Rife of The A.V. Club expressed, "Following the lonesome guitar on 'Never Forgive The Angels,' [...] the power of The Bride's narrative begins to fade in a series of piano-focused ballads that, while uniformly beautiful [...] aren't distinctive enough songwriting-wise to stand out from one another", adding that "Khan may have prioritized the concept over the listening experience as a whole."[12] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani wrote, "That The Bride works best as a song cycle rather than a collection of pop hooks is a testament to its cohesion and intrinsic intertexuality, but what's missing here is Khan's knack for grafting avant-art-rock concepts onto mainstream forms."[20]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2016

Commercial performance[edit]

The Bride debuted at number nine on the UK Albums Chart with 8,242 copies sold in its first week, becoming Khan's third consecutive top-10 album.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Natasha Khan, except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Do" 2:17
2."Joe's Dream" 5:25
3."In God's House" 3:32
4."Honeymooning Alone" 3:30
5."Sunday Love"
4:13
6."Never Forgive the Angels" 4:25
7."Close Encounters" 4:10
8."Widow's Peak"
  • Khan
  • Simone Felice
3:47
9."Land's End" 3:10
10."If I Knew" 4:17
11."I Will Love Again"
5:14
12."In Your Bed" 3:32

Personnel[edit]

Credits for adapted from the liner notes of The Bride.[24]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[25] 40
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[26] 38
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[27] 42
French Albums (SNEP)[28] 101
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[29] 19
Irish Albums (IRMA)[30] 18
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[31] 32
Scottish Albums (OCC)[32] 9
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 28
UK Albums (OCC)[34] 9
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[35] 17
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[36] 24

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cills, Hazel (27 June 2016). "Wedded Bliss: Bat For Lashes On Becoming 'The Bride'". MTV News. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Stereo Boutique - Bat For Lashes - If I Knew Vinyl". Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  3. ^ Monroe, Jazz; Snapes, Laura (24 August 2015). "Bat for Lashes Discusses Debut Sexwitch Album, Shares "Helelyos"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  4. ^ Monroe, Jazz (19 February 2016). "Bat for Lashes Returns With New Track "I Do"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  5. ^ Gaca, Anna (10 March 2016). "Bat For Lashes Shares Funereal New Wedding Song 'In God's House'". Spin. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  6. ^ "In God's House (2016) | Bat For Lashes". 7digital (UK). Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  7. ^ Monroe, Jazz (10 March 2016). "Bat for Lashes Announces New Album The Bride, Shares "In God's House"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  8. ^ Trendell, Andrew (21 June 2016). "Bat For Lashes: 'Being a human is f**king hard'". Gigwise. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ Blistein, Jon (10 March 2016). "Bat for Lashes Unveil 'The Bride,' Chilling New Song 'In God's House'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Reviews for The Bride by Bat for Lashes". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  11. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "The Bride – Bat for Lashes". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  12. ^ a b Rife, Katie (1 July 2016). "Bat For Lashes tries to keep the flame alive on The Bride". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  13. ^ a b McCormick, Neil (30 June 2016). "Bat for Lashes, The Bride, review: 'a marriage of heaven and hell'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  14. ^ a b Keen, Nina (1 July 2016). "Bat For Lashes – The Bride". DIY. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  15. ^ a b Aroesti, Rachel (30 June 2016). "Bat for Lashes: The Bride review – beautiful, darkly intriguing torch songs". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  16. ^ a b Bartleet, Larry (29 June 2016). "Bat For Lashes – 'The Bride' Review". NME. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  17. ^ a b Cook, Cameron (5 July 2016). "Bat For Lashes: The Bride". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  18. ^ a b Garner, George (August 2016). "The Wedding Singer". Q (362): 109. ISSN 0955-4955.
  19. ^ a b Grow, Kory (1 July 2016). "The Bride". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (21 June 2016). "Bat for Lashes: The Bride". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  21. ^ "Albums of the Year". Rough Trade. November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  22. ^ Jones, Alan (8 July 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: Blink-182 claim top spot with first UK No. 1". Music Week. Retrieved 11 July 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  23. ^ "The Bride by Bat for Lashes". iTunes Store (GB). Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  24. ^ The Bride (CD liner notes). Bat for Lashes. Parlophone. 2016. 0825646170340.
  25. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Bat for Lashes – The Bride". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bat for Lashes – The Bride" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bat for Lashes – The Bride" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Lescharts.com – Bat for Lashes – The Bride". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  29. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2016. 26. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  30. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 27, 2016". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Bat for Lashes – The Bride". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Bat for Lashes – The Bride". Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  34. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  35. ^ "Bat for Lashes Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  36. ^ "Bat for Lashes Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 July 2016.