Arcade Fire
Neon Bible
Some times are so good that you have to wonder how you're going to ever recapture them again. It's the dark cloud that lies just beyond every silver lining. Any artistic achievement that breaks ground and wins acclaim—or hearts—will eventually have to be followed up. In pop culture there have been two prime examples of this recently. One ended up with Dave Chappelle taking refuge in Africa. The other comes in the form of an epic and dark album called Neon Bible. Arcade Fire's Funeral seemed to be delivered already dripping in critical saliva. Through the most caustic Shellac fans, the fey-est twee fans and your Chicago-loving uncle, it plucked the heartstrings of almost all. From the opening notes of Bible's "Black Mirror", it quickly becomes apparent that while most people might not be over Funeral's cathartic attack, the band is. Neon Bible is a work unto itself that relies on a message of concern over the crumbling universal soul, rather than nostalgia of past accomplishments. While only a handful of tracks are as immediately ear-grabbing as most on Funeral, the album is more engaging for its complexity. No song will fully unravel for the listener on the first pass. This dense work requires the kind of attention modern culture has forgotten how to offer. While Funeral was a pacifier against the subject it took on, Neon Bible goes further, striving to find a cure.
—Matt Charlton
categories: Coast pick,Canadian artist

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