The Arcade Fire — Neon Bible (2007)

“I’m living in an age that calls darkness light.” There’s some capital-T truth for you.

The Arcade Fire’s highly anticipated follow-up to Funeral, Neon Bible, could be one of the most looked forward to albums of the year (next, maybe, to Modest Mouse). The album is clearly a biting critique of the modern age. It snaps at everything from government to church, and it’d be hard to find fault with many aspects of their appraisal.

The pessimism of the album is sharp as the Arcade Fire laments everything, summed up in the phrase “the poison of our age.” From planes crashing into buildings two by two, to the prayer of a father asking the Lord for a famous daughter, to asking if maybe he is the Anti-Christ, Win Butler has serious questions (and concerns) about the society and world in which he lives.

The sound of the album is as emotionally distressing as the message, and it is beautiful. Neon Bible (an overtly modern and blasphemous title) features a church organ and the typical Arcade Fire symphonic sound.

Despite the overwhelming sense of hopelessness Butler allows himself (and others) to dream of the place where no ships/cars/spaceships/subs go. It’s the place “us kids know” and it’s “between the click of the light and the start of the dream.”

–cc

Listen

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