Monday, August 9, 2010

Music Review- The Arcade Fire


The Arcade Fire has been making quite an explosive scene this past week. For any of you on Twitter, you may have noticed that The Arcade Fire has been a trending topic for several days in a row now. Well as a lot of you probably know, their newest album titled The Suburbs, was released last week and along with that, they performed a live web cast of their concert at Madison Square Garden. The album was released Tuesday and the concert, broadcasted on Thursday, is titled Unstaged. What was cool about the concert was that none other than Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) himself directed the webcast. Viewers were able to select multiple camera angles and submit photos of their own "suburbs," which may be featured on stage during the band's performance. I wanted to watch the live webcast but wasn't able to; I figured I could go back later and view it but it looks like Vevo took it down. Right now there are little bits and pieces of it up and you can view it here.

Terry Gilliam isn't the only big director they've recently teamed up with. Last year, you may remember the release of the film Where The Wild Things Are, directed by Spike Jonez. The song Wake Up was used heavily in the film's trailer (and I think the film too but I never saw it) and added an incredible touch to it. I believe the use of the song in the trailer really helped it become the beloved song it is today. Even now, whenever I hear that guitar and those drums fire up, followed by the haunting voice and poetic lyrics: “Children don’t grow up. Our bodies get bigger, but our hearts get torn up” chills shoot right through me. Well, Spike Jonez is returning the favor to the band by directing a short Sci-Fi movie for the new record. In an interview with front man Win Butler, he said "It's like a science-fiction B-movie companion piece for the record. Basically, we played Spike some music from the album and the first images that came to his mind had the same feeling as this idea for a science fiction film I had when I was younger."

Seems like this Indie band based out of Montreal has got some pretty exciting stuff lined up! So what about the new record is it any good? To be honest I haven't heard the entire album. I've only heard the stuff thats been leaked online which includes their songs, The Suburbs, Month of May, Ready To Start, and We Use To Wait. I haven't had time to purchase and listen to their entire album yet so my review is just based off of those four songs and their previous material. Expectation couldn't come much higher for this Canadian Indie rock band. After the critical and commercial success of their two previous albums, Funeral and Neon Bible, many have been wondering what The Arcade Fire could invent next.

Funeral was a fantastic debut album for the band. Their creative process in writing the album was drawn from a mix of somber emotions when suddenly, many members of a quiet a few of the band member's families began passing away (thus the title Funeral). With Funeral, Arcade Fire seemed to have debuted on the scene with a style of their own. The take bits of several genres of rock music al hemmed together with violins, piano, keyboards, accordions, xylophones, and many more instruments I can't even name. The tempo of the album seems constantly changing- building up powerful climaxes then submerging into steady rhythm. With Neon Bible released in 2007, The Arcade Fire wowed audiences again with their eclectic mix of instruments, most notably the pipe organ, which added to the album's grandeur. Listening to these four new tracks on their newest album, I can tell they continue to use their strategy of putting imposing instruments and it still sounds good! However, as much as I like it, it kind of feels like they are starting to go over the top with it. Instead of creating something new, it sounds like they are just throwing in a bigger mix clashing sounds and instruments. I'll reserve greater judgement for when I hear the entire album but I still love this fucking band. If you haven't heard their stuff yet, head over to YouTube or wherever and take a few minuets to listen to their own new, innovative style they've created.

Recommended- Final Score 8/10

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