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Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

Posted by Joe Lazar on February 25, 2007

Arcade Fire // Neon Bible // Merge Records // Release Date: March 6th, 2007

Neon Bible, the band’s second effort, could easily be titled 2007’s most anticipated album. Could the band demolish the sophomore curse, and reign triumphant? Could they seriously outdo the debut?

 

‘He cares not about your dreams,’ proclaims Win Butler in album opener “Black Mirror.” This is how music, he, has been treating us. This new generation has been longing for that album that they can tell their kids about. A legendary album.

 

Arcade Fire garnered all eyes when they released their debut album, Funeral, in 2004. The band held an epic atmosphere that usually surrounded U2 or David Bowie’s music (both of which have publicily complimented the band). They gave us a feeling we hadn’t felt in quite some time. It was obvious – there was magic in the air.

 

Without a doubt, Neon Bible delivers. The sound of the band is way more enclosed than it was on Funeral. Both albums have a tense environment, but Neon Bible’s is more subtle. “Keep The Car Running,” always seems like it is bound to explode but only once does the band let you see the energy inside them when a mass ‘Ohhhh, ohhhh’ is belted. The track ends very sudden, leaving you wanting more. People will complain that Arcade Fire don’t have the ‘energy’ that was proposed in “Neighborhood #3” or “Rebellion.” Sure, Neon Bible isn’t as quick to hit you as Funeral was, but that by no means makes it less brilliant.

 

Funeral had some hiccups lyrically speaking, but the band have stepped it up big time. The reoccurring theme seems to be the war, and other troubles happening in the red, white, and blue. “Ocean of Noise,” tells a story of someone leaving his family to go to the war. ‘Left in the morning, while you were fast asleep, to an ocean of violence, a world of empty streets,’ sings Butler, who sounds like he has so much anger building inside.

 

“Intervention,” notices the twisted irony of fighting a war, while believing in God. ‘Working for the church, while your family dies,’ sings Butler who once again sounds like he is going to pop like an aging Merlot.

 

When closer “My Body Is A Cage,” erupts with church organs and marching drums, you finally feel like the energy that was just waiting to show itself, has arrived. It feels as if the monkey was just taken off your back.

 

As you rush to the store to grab your copy of Neon Bible (or illegally download, jerk) the adrenaline will be pumping. Could this be really as good as I hope it will be? Could someone finally make that album that represents our music generation?

 

To simplify my feelings, they did it.

 

9/10

 

— Joe Lazar

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4 Responses to “Arcade Fire – Neon Bible”

  1. Memles said

    Your general assessment of the album is right on the money, but I’m wondering what you thought of the rest of the album in particular. While My Body is a Cage, Keep the Car Running and Intervention are all highlights, what about the rest of the songs? You mention Black Mirror, which I like as an opening track, but it seems that the rest are kind of lost within your review (And, to an extent, within the album in my opinion).

    The thing is, while their names don’t seem to resonate with me, I find myself just as involved in them as in the others when they pop up. They’re not as memorable, but they’re almost subversive, getting beneath your skin without you realizing it. I’m going to need some more time in order to really understand the ways in which this album works.

  2. Joe said

    I was analyzing the same thing. I do love every song on this album though. “Antichrist Television Blues” is an excellent cut, with great lyrics. The premise is Joe Simpson, but the mentions of 9/11 (planes keep crashing / always two by two) make it that much more awesomer.

    The “No Cars Go” redo is amazing. It makes the EP version unlistenable. And it really shows the growth of the band, even though they have only released two full lengths.

    And I did mention “Ocean of Noise,” which I think is the highlight.

  3. […] Headless Ponch – Positive When closer “My Body Is A Cage” erupts with church organs and marching drums, you finally feel like the energy that was just waiting to show itself has arrived. It feels as if the monkey was just taken off your back. […]

  4. Heizhie said

    Heizhie

    Heizhie

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