Indie heroes return: Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible"

Montreal octet, Arcade Fire are ready to prove they’ve got the musical, lyrical, and creative chops to be among rock’s marquee acts. For their second full-length record, Neon Bible, Arcade Fire prove themselves capable of crafting everything from lush and painstaking orchestral arrangements complete with mandolin, and pipe organ to rumbling dirty mistake laden punk. There are layers upon layers, noise on top of noise here, enveloping the audience so we feel as the track “Black Wave” says, that “the sound is not asleep/it’s moving under my feet.”

Lyrically, Neon Bible is as strong, if not stronger, than 2003’s Funeral. Each lyric will send the college set to their Moleskine journals and remind us all of what great poetry can sound like. Smart, clever, and subtle, lead singer Win Butler (still sounding warbly and Bowie-riffic) makes each song seem like a confession, an epiphany, or a moment of poignant significance with lines like “You say it's money that we need/As if we're the only mouths to feed/I know that no matter what you say/There are some debts we never pay.”

This album is notably darker in tone and subject than Funeral. There is a sense of paranoia, melancholy, and rage present here in tracks such "Windowsill" and "Black Mirror" not present in Funeral. This album is the noteworthy in that this group from the Great White North, is among the most creative, resourceful, and original groups in the past few years. Just as OK Computer saved guitar rock, the imagination, energy, and drama in Neon Bible may be the album that saves indie rock. - Highly Recommended

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