The Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (2007)

(Merge Records)

I do not possess the musical knowledge to reference obscure garage bands or old favorites that the Arcade Fire pulls their influence from and I do not think I need to. The only thing a review should tell you is if an album is freakin‘ awesome or fucking bollocks along with a few sentences of defense.

The Arcade Fire emerged out of the ether into the ripening indy lime light at the perfect time. Their first single “Rebellion (Lies)” was a hit for me and many other peoples across the world. It was different, tight, and tuneful. With the new record, they did not try to reinvent themselves, but instead built on the success of the first album. By no means do they rehash what has been done before; they tap into a new vein branching off from the old one.

The record steps into its stride when the themes match the music in its safely experimental glory. “Intervention” stands on the beat of an organ giving it an old time church feel while the lyrics toy with the quotidian concerns of paying the bills and holding religion dear. “The Well and the Lighthouse” starts with a more repetitive beat that hearkens back to the first CD and that is OK because it still feels new.

The vocals are earnest and emotive without becoming trite, a very difficult line to walk. The Arcade Fire have something to say and a fun way with which to say it. This shit is good.

9/10 tight tunes

J.A.

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