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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Arcade Fire -- Neon Bible

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9/10
Arcade Fire sound older and angrier on sophmore outing, Neon Bible, and that's just fine by me. Actually, they sound more mature in every way. The arrangements are more complicated. The instrumentation is far more diverse. The sound varies far more from song to song. Most importantly, Neon Bible is far more cohesive than Funeral, and the logic and track order make far more sense. The feeling is dark thoughout, with rays of sunlight shining through at moments. The lyrics, while still just a little weak at times, otherwise get the job done well, and paint great feelings of frustration, incarceration, and generally being under seige by media, the powers that be, and all manner of glowing lights, with a underlying hope of escape.
Neon Bible contains a wonderful sense of someone searching for freedom in both words and music, and this builds throughout the disc without payoff until the excellent penultimate track, "No Cars Go." All the claustrophobic organs and strings of the previous nine songs are destroyed with one simple saxophone solo.

Listen to Arcade Fire's "No Cars Go"


Another Neon Bible plus is the major upgrade in production--which is quite obvious in the above song. Neon Bible sounds great, a huge achievement for Arcade Fire, who once again produce themselves, but this time sound like they know exactly what they're doing.
Neon Bible is a true album, feels like a journey from start to finish, but despite this, is a bit of a sleeper in Arcade Fire's three album catalog--the problem middle child who didn't receive the hype of the debut, or the accolade's of its younger brother, The Suburbs. That doesn't diminish the fact that ten years into the band's career, Neon Bible is still their best work.

2007 Merge
1. Black Mirror 4:13
2. Keep the Car Running 3:29
3. Neon Bible 2:16
4. Intervention 4:19
5. Black Wave/Bad Vibrations 3:57
6. Ocean of Noise 4:53
7. The Well and the Lighthouse 3:56
8. (Antichrist Television Blues) 5:10
9. Windowsill 4:16
10. No Cars Go 5:43
11. My Body Is a Cage 4:47

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