Arcade Fire
Neon Bible



by Clumpy USER (29 Reviews)
July 10th, 2007 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A vial of hope and a vial of pain. . .

The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Review by Clumpy

This record made me buy an iPod.

Every morning before I depart for my warehouse job I prepare my music for the following day. Stuck in the stone age of portable CD players and jackets full of discs, I look over all of my albums and pick four or five. That's the magic number for a nine-hour shift.

Neon Bible inevitably accompanied me, day after day. While I didn't listen to it daily, the album seemed to bring a sense of warmth and comfort into the daily grind stocking shelves. When the album developed a scratch and skipped towards the end of the eighth track I repented of my procrastination and visited the Circuit City. A good quarter of my last paycheck went into a neat 30GB video iPod. Now my skip-free Neon Bible accompanies me every day whether I bring my CD jacket or not.

The Arcade Fire makes music that resonates with your soul. On this newest release, the ponderously-titled "Neon Bible", every track remains musically lush and full-sounding without straying from the delicate intimacy that made Funeral such a treasured eulogy. The band's indie sensibilities and confidence in their ability to find and cultivate their sound led to their decision to self-produce the album. This is one of the most personal albums I have ever heard.

From melancholy epic opener "Black Mirror" to the mournful, frantic affirmations of "My Body is a Cage", Neon Bible is a cohesive work, full of subtlety and sound. Especially sound. This album is impossibly full. Strings, guitars, drums, accordions, emotional vocal work (primary and background) and, most memorably, a chapel organ fill nearly every second of the running time. Many tracks explode into a glorious whirlwind of melodic sound partway through, like a warm hug in your headphones, only to pull back and repeat. The band wisely keeps the production a little rough around the edges, keeping even the most apocalyptic numbers human and grounded.

Much like the great Eels album Electro-Shock Blues, Neon Bible is darkly life-affirming. Despite the dark themes explored in the music, the album leaves you with a happy optimistic feeling. Even the desperate fear of opener track "Black Mirror" is melodic and epic, wonderfully dissonant and resonant, purely symphonious. Cathartic track "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations" has a wonderfully disharmonic opening, before settling into an epic chorus. Breezier songs like "Antichrist Television Blues" or "Keep the Car Running" keep up a good pace while expanding on their sound. And the expansive gospel-meets-Springsteen sound of "Intervention" is a truly epic experience.

The Arcade Fire plays and performs with an almost spiritual fervor. This is a group that truly believes in their music. If this band does not outsell fellow Canadian corporate rockers Nickelback, there is truly no justice in the world.

A final note: Seeing The Arcade Fire perform "Wake Up" (a song from Funeral) with David Bowie at the Radio City Music Hall in New York was a truly moving experience. The crowd was visibly moved. Scope it on YouTube and understand the effect that true music can have on you.

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Please vote if you liked this review. Every time you vote an angel gets its wings.

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user ratings (2399)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • robin EMERITUS (5)
    now who here among us still believes in choice?...

    br3ad_man EMERITUS (4)
    The Arcade Fire follow up their debut with an album that is even more grandiose. Although ...

    JAD (4)
    What do a pipe organ, a military choir, a full hungarian orchestra, and tons of bombast ge...

    RMonK (4.5)
    Join the Church of the Arcade Fire, or forever hold your peace......

  • FreddieDelaney31 (5)
    I'm gonna work it out...

    Chunky97 (4.5)

    Artuma (4.5)
    In their second full-length album Arcade Fire goes to even bigger sound, which results an ...

    bwnstl (4)
    The Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible" keeps their sound big; however, it suffers from being TOO b...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

An angel just grew it's wings, great review.

Apocalyptic Raids
July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

great album but I don't think it's quite a fiveThis Message Edited On 07.11.07

July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Good album.

My Body Is A Cage is really good.This Message Edited On 07.11.07

July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

This album was quite a let down for me.

July 11th 2007


Love this album, love this review. Complete agreement.

July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

I can't see how this is a 5 really, Windowsill is just too annoying.

Not a bad review, though.

July 11th 2007


Not a bad review but I don't dig Arcade Fire at all; at there's no way its a 5.

July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I don't even know why I said that. hahahThis Message Edited On 07.11.07

July 11th 2007


I wanted to try this album because I figured I'm missing something with Arcade Fire because I didn't enjoy Funeral and everyone said it was great, and same with Neon Bible.

Two-Headed Boy
July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm in the same boat as Pulse on this's just not that fun to listen to.

July 11th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

For the reviewer, I guess it just rubbed you the right way. And yeah, it's not fun to listen to, which definitely robs it of anything above a 4, aside from some of the tracks just suck.

I gave it a 4 because there are excellent tracks on this album and there are some themes that tie together well here. It's really beautiful in some parts. As far as Funeral, Funeral is awesome. It's near masterpiece, but this was a let down. And yeah trib, if you don't enjoy Funeral, you're definitely "missing something."

September 13th 2007


Album Rating: 1.5

I thought this album was pretty bad, actually. Overly ponderous.

February 2nd 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

very well written review!

i can see where you're coming from, and am wondering if maybe i should just exhaust the album a little more?

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