Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Neon Bible: Arcade Fire

This is one of the great albums. Great in that it sums up the time. "On the beach" and "After the goldrush" by Neil Young are Zeitgeist albums. Catch 22 and American Psycho define a moment in a similar way.

If you believe like John Lennon that music should be like journalism this is a great album. Music is not some perfect Platonic world,it and only makes sense when it puts the world around you in context.

Neon Bible will turn out to be the album of the year, it sums up this moment perfectly. Modest Mouse's "We were dead before the ship even sank" is a better album but it is not the one that we need right now.

The album sounds foreboding and imminent. Imminent in the sense of a being trapped in a world where you cannot affect the forces aligned against you. The Onion described it as peopled by characters in an Ayn Rand novel. People who realise what has been holding them back and rebel against it. I think Brazil or Thx1138 might be more apt, Rand's characters escape from their prison but this album just tells us that we have to try.

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