Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Published in 2007
Yeah, I am writing this in the week after Arcade Fire won Best Album at the Grammy's, thus lending it a tiny sliver of legitimacy. Also, the fact that the Beibs got shut out is apparently big news in the more annoying misspelled rants segments of the population, so there is that. Threatening a young jazz artist for beating your teen heartthrob: smart! (Also, this is much the same population that got so upset at the Taylor Swift thing, but now, since it is the white kid who got cheated out of best new artist, it's fine for them to go after the black girl. Awesome.) I think Mr. Bieber handled himself with poise and grace, and his fans are going through that awkward period before they grow shame. Also, I didn't watch any of this shit, and I don't give a shit about it. So there is that.
Anyway, you know what is a great band? Arcade Fire. You know how I know? Because once you put on one of their records, you'll find it hard to turn it off. It has a sound all of it's own, and it just works. The songs are unique, interesting, and well done.
I actually hadn't listened to Neon Bible that much before this week, because I am pretty sure Funeral is one of my favorite albums of all time, which isn't saying much, since everyone ever loves that album. You could prove that people don't, and I won't believe you, to paraphrase Ford Prefect.
This album is a perfect continuation of that legacy. It's exactly what I enjoyed about Funeral, put back into another group of songs, which are spectacularly beautiful and incredibly well made. The sounds are clear, the vocals are amazing, and it's got an interesting lyrical grasp.
The theme of the album is some sort of manipulative religious groups theme, but it isn't so overt that you can't just listen to the music, and isn't incredibly wrong. The album, though, should be judged on the musical merits, of which there are many.
Remember last week, when I complained that TVOTR was flat? There is no problem with that here. The wash of sound is given a place and it is highly defined. Your ear can seek out individual lines inside the whole with no problem, and you can even hear the major movements without any real direction. The music is deep and the individual parts are awesome.
This is a band that I would love to just see recording, because I have a feeling that it is an incredible process. I imagine beautiful music coming from a gothic monstrosity, new from old and this is going off the rails, I need to stop this.
It's actually somewhat hard to talk about this album because it is too good. I know I say that a lot, but you people keep suggesting awesome albums that I don't have a lot to say about, because they are too good to talk shit about. So I have to look for some way in, and that always seems like a contrivance and a dumb thing to do.
Neon Bible is, as with all Arcade Fire albums, not optional. Get them, listen to them, enjoy them. Be happy you did. Thank me. Name your firstborns for me.
"God said to Abraham, give me a son."
Want to see some words about whatever you like? Suggest something in the comments or on facebook or email me or whatever. Also, the more comments we get, the more you will deprive me of beer money, thus depriving me of more beer gut, thus making me lose more money! Give Phil Five!
PS. My album of 2007 is In Rainbows, by Radiohead, because.