2017 Arcade Fire LP

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC30BYR3CUk

yesca, Thursday, 1 June 2017 22:50 (four months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1tAYmMjLdY

the ghost of markers, Thursday, 1 June 2017 22:53 (four months ago) Permalink

I laughed out loud when the Dancing Queen bit came in. It's the first song I've kind of enjoyed of theirs in years.

kitchen person, Thursday, 1 June 2017 23:00 (four months ago) Permalink

Another important detail:

https://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=39154

yesca, Thursday, 1 June 2017 23:13 (four months ago) Permalink

sounds like the scissor sisters lol

kurt schwitterz, Thursday, 1 June 2017 23:14 (four months ago) Permalink

Another important detail:

https://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=39154

― yesca

It does have a similar feel to Touch from Random Access Memories when it gets going.

kitchen person, Thursday, 1 June 2017 23:16 (four months ago) Permalink

This song is better than anything they've done after 'Funeral'. They completely lost me with after that album, but this is good.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 2 June 2017 00:57 (four months ago) Permalink

I'm really confused by ppl saying this is the best thing they've done in a decade bcz to my ears this sounds like a song they have already made like 6 times

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 2 June 2017 01:03 (four months ago) Permalink

also guys do you think this will be the 2nd to last track of the record?

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 2 June 2017 01:06 (four months ago) Permalink

I expected to hate this. I don't. But that's about the extent of it.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Friday, 2 June 2017 01:11 (four months ago) Permalink

Have they made this song already?

I just think everything after Funeral was way too self-indulgent, aspiring to reach U2 levels of arena rock, which really, completely put me off. If this new one is a sign of things to come I might get on board again. It is an incredible earworm too tbh.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 2 June 2017 01:14 (four months ago) Permalink

Neon Bible is my favorite album of theirs. I don't know if anything after that one was more or less pompous, but I just didn't care anymore.

Weird that you'd find this one to be them somehow pulling back on aspiration, though...there's a huge choir part.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Friday, 2 June 2017 01:18 (four months ago) Permalink

I enjoy the ABBA-ness.

What I'm not sure about is the fact that it also reminds me of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGMabBGydC0

MarkoP, Friday, 2 June 2017 01:21 (four months ago) Permalink

It is weird! I think to me it sounds a lot like them grooving out and not take themselves way too seriously? (I mean, they did with Funeral, but that was their debut album, and I took that very serious as well). Not figured it out yet as per the new one. They'd lost me completely after Funeral, and while this is thoroughly different, it sounds good to me idk.

xp

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 2 June 2017 01:23 (four months ago) Permalink

It's alright for what it is. I don't like it nearly as much as "Black Mirror" or "Reflektor" (the track). I've never liked an LP of theirs from beginning to end, though.

pomenitul, Friday, 2 June 2017 01:33 (four months ago) Permalink

Funeral was so good but it's strange to me that nearly everything since has been a straight up pastiche of something. didn't expect it would be ABBA this time but it at least has a nice lightness to it

ufo, Friday, 2 June 2017 01:39 (four months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_sKqFkReZk

Van Horn Street, Friday, 2 June 2017 03:57 (four months ago) Permalink

Le Bateau Ivre, you should really give Reflektor a chance, if you haven't already. It sounds quite a lot like a bunch of stuff from that record. I love the Hancock-sample :)

Frederik B, Friday, 2 June 2017 12:47 (four months ago) Permalink

My phone's been blowing up for 24 hours because I spent a decade in a band called Everything, Now!

http://everythingnowmusic.bandcamp.com

(also, that single is pretty vanilla)

dronestreet, Friday, 2 June 2017 17:08 (four months ago) Permalink

Freely translated back: 'hmm… a trifle.'

pomenitul, Friday, 2 June 2017 22:23 (four months ago) Permalink

@Fred, it's not something high on my list but will give it 'nother go.

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 3 June 2017 10:44 (four months ago) Permalink

I love Funeral, Neon Bible half of it and then haven't felt like listening to them again.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Saturday, 3 June 2017 16:24 (four months ago) Permalink

The Suburbs was so boring that I almost gave up on them, but Reflektor has some quite good stuff. I mean, it's overlong, and Everything Now kinda trumps a lot of attempts at similar dancey stuff on it, but it's worth giving a shot.

I really, really, really like this new on :) So joyful. Looking forward to shouting along when they play Roskilde this summer.

Frederik B, Saturday, 3 June 2017 16:36 (four months ago) Permalink

Suburbs is their best album by far (though Funeral made the bigger impression on me at the time)

New single sounds just like their last album

niels, Monday, 5 June 2017 14:03 (four months ago) Permalink

Will also rep for Suburbs as (maybe) their best album.

Kinda last me with Reflektor. Will check new one out based on the single, which I liked.

circa1916, Monday, 5 June 2017 14:12 (four months ago) Permalink

lost not last*

circa1916, Monday, 5 June 2017 14:12 (four months ago) Permalink

New single sounds just like their last album

Yeah except now a melody is included in the price of the album for you.

yesca, Monday, 5 June 2017 14:52 (four months ago) Permalink

Funeral and Neon Bible only. Neon Bible is better.

flappy bird, Monday, 5 June 2017 14:54 (four months ago) Permalink

Funeral >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> the rest of it is O.K. and wouldn't have got noticed without Funeral. I'm going super stretch this comparison but whatever: The Grammy for 'The Suburbs' is kind of like the indie rock equivalent of Scorcese getting an Oscar for 'The Departed'.

yesca, Monday, 5 June 2017 15:04 (four months ago) Permalink

haha I can see that

niels, Monday, 5 June 2017 15:06 (four months ago) Permalink

anyway Neon Bible has good songs but they're lost in the terrible production - muddy, weak and cluttered

niels, Monday, 5 June 2017 15:10 (four months ago) Permalink

*sighs*

It's this fucking lot again.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Monday, 5 June 2017 17:24 (four months ago) Permalink

I don't particularly like them, enjoy a few previous songs, but the new single is ridiculous yet not bad. It's catchy but there are some very silly aspects (the mentioned abba hook, the flute breakdown - borderline spinal tap territory, the everything now chanting part that sounds like simple minds' alive and kicking prechorus...).

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 5 June 2017 17:44 (four months ago) Permalink

Funeral and Suburbs are both great, the second is probably the better "album." Neon Bible has its moments but I don't play it much. Reflektor, I'm honestly not sure I've listened to the whole thing.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 5 June 2017 17:48 (four months ago) Permalink

I wrote upthread the sample was Hancock, but it's of course this tune:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m56H4E5bZLk

Love it.

Frederik B, Monday, 5 June 2017 18:01 (four months ago) Permalink

I first heard that song through ILX, and imagine Win Butler did the same. Though apparently it's on a pretty influential compilation.

Frederik B, Monday, 5 June 2017 18:03 (four months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzwicesJQ7E

They've always incorporated New Order into their music but the beginning foundation of this track is about as obvious a nod as it gets.

yesca, Sunday, 18 June 2017 05:07 (four months ago) Permalink

the "first record" reference is clever but I can't help think the new Killers single trumps them for cheese appeal

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Sunday, 18 June 2017 05:10 (four months ago) Permalink

decent song but subtlety was never a strong point with these guys huh

niels, Sunday, 18 June 2017 07:59 (four months ago) Permalink

I like the Francis Bebey sample

Shat Parp (dog latin), Monday, 19 June 2017 15:44 (four months ago) Permalink

Funeral is their best album because it doesn't sound like a DFA b-sides compilation heard through a thin wall, and neither was it recorded in a big echoey church

Shat Parp (dog latin), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 08:20 (three months ago) Permalink

haha

niels, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 08:28 (three months ago) Permalink

rly loving the new track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-w1GeH8KPU

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Saturday, 24 June 2017 23:09 (three months ago) Permalink

Lmao nailed it

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 24 June 2017 23:12 (three months ago) Permalink

Just listened and am having trouble not hearing Creature Comfort as a bit of InBetween Days over Love Missile F1-11, but it's pretty damned flashy. I'm a little dazzled right now.

Manitobiloba (Kim), Tuesday, 27 June 2017 23:22 (three months ago) Permalink

Just got a pop-up ad for a combination fidget spinner/USB drive combo promoting the new album. I assume it is part of their high-concept gag marketing push?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 30 June 2017 13:56 (three months ago) Permalink

Incidentally, there seems to be broader industry stuff afoot. AF sign to Columbia, War On Drugs sign to Atlantic ... why do these bands need to jump indie ship now, when it would seem that the majors (as such) have less to offer than ever?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 30 June 2017 14:06 (three months ago) Permalink

AF has less to offer than ever, too, so it might be a good fit? Idk.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 30 June 2017 17:50 (three months ago) Permalink

Too bad. If something sucks ILX is more likely to talk about it.

Evan, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 17:48 (two months ago) Permalink

they're also one of like a dozen arena rock bands that formed after 2000

flappy bird, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 17:52 (two months ago) Permalink

The Suburbs won fucking Album of the Year at the Grammy's in 2011.

Unfortunately, by the time that 2011 rolled around, stuff like this meant sweet FA.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 18:23 (two months ago) Permalink

In fact, by the time 2011 rolled around, "indie" music in general meant sweet FA, its popularity having died crushed by a landfill circa the release of Kings of Leon's 'Sex on Fire' ... in the '10s, only a small handful of already existing (or reformed) "indie" bands have put out decent work. Newer "indie" bands have pretty much had it from the get-go.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 18:37 (two months ago) Permalink

what is 'sweet FA'

flappy bird, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 18:55 (two months ago) Permalink

sweet failure analysis

Gaspard de la Nuit: III. ScarJost (Sufjan Grafton), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 19:09 (two months ago) Permalink

Fanny Adams (30 April 1859 – 24 August 1867) was a young English girl murdered by solicitor's clerk Frederick Baker in Alton, Hampshire. The expression "sweet Fanny Adams", or "sweet FA", refers to her and has come, through British naval slang, to mean "nothing at all".

In 1869 new rations of tinned mutton were introduced for British seamen. They were unimpressed by it, and suggested it might be the butchered remains of Fanny Adams. "Fanny Adams" became slang for mutton[6] or stew and then for anything worthless – from which comes the current use of "sweet Fanny Adams" (or just "sweet F.A.") to mean "nothing at all". It can be seen as a euphemism for "fuck all" – which means the same. The large tins the mutton was delivered in were reused as mess tins. Mess tins or cooking pots are still known as Fannys.[citation needed]

nomar, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 19:11 (two months ago) Permalink

in other words, Turrican, a little "too soon" maybe

nomar, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 19:12 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

guys, if you found the album cycle offputting and the music not to compensate, I regret to inform you that you, my tiny child, have merely ~misunderstood the art~ http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/arcade-fires-win-butler-on-everything-now-album-rollout.html

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 22 September 2017 12:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

(were there this many people during the Reagan and/or Bush years suggesting less-than-glowing reviews of their record sprung from The Forces That Elected Not My President?)

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 22 September 2017 12:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

(by "this many" I suppose I mean "also any" but I suspect we're going to see more of this rhetorical move in the next three-to-seven years)

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 22 September 2017 12:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

What a dumb interview (his answers, not the questions). So full of himself. What is the point of proving that if you intentionally spread misinformation about your band and music people will believe or further spread said misinformation?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That said, their plan might have worked had a) the music indeed resonated and b) had they followed it up with some sort of full-U2 Zoo TV tour spectacle. Maybe there's still time for that, but grouchy Win "you don't get it, maaaan" interviews aren't helping things.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

His lecture tour with Darren Aronofsky'll be great.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:53 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"Bad On Purpose: The Made-You-Think/Mission Accomplished" Tour.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:56 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Lol Ned.

His answers are embarrassing.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Haha Josh

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Easily my favorite bit is the "Well the FRENCH got us!"

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 September 2017 14:02 (three weeks ago) Permalink

my least favorite bit is the way it throws out generalities about how broken music journalism is and how toxic the political climate is, things designed to make people nod along (particularly music journalists, perpetually looking for something, anything, anyone, to validate their despair at their earning potential), and uses those generalities to sneak through some real bullshit undetected. the dress code thing is a good example. the way Butler talks about it, you'd think the story was completely manufactured. (by the town of Macedonian teenagers who weren't good enough at fake news to reach the Trump leagues?) but it wasn't -- there was, in fact, an email requesting exactly what was reported. the guidelines, furthermore, are pretty much standard for anything that's going to be filmed -- logos have to be blurred out in post, solid white and red tend to film poorly -- but "look, this is how TV production works" is quite a different statement from "this email that clearly exists doesn't exist, how dare you report on it."

of course,

given he's outright said it there's a decent chance the postmortem interview will get a subsequent postzombie interview in which he says "hahaha, you journalists were fooled into being irritated by my deliberately irritating statements, gotcha!"

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 22 September 2017 14:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

(this isn't just limited to arcade fire, obviously -- a side effect of aforementioned journalism climate is that PRs now have a fantastic strategy of calling anything that deviates from their manufactured narrative "fake news"). doesn't help that the most visible people who are the most visibly "skeptical" are right-wing cranks

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 22 September 2017 14:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

He comes across as being lost in 2017 imo. In understandable despair about fake news and such, but shooting from the hip entirely with an ill advised campaign.

Stuff like this:

The other part of it is that when you make a record in this modern context, it instantly gets refracted in the media. There’s all this side content, this trail that follows everything. So we thought that maybe we’d just make all that content, as opposed to just making the art. That stuff was going to get made anyway, so why not make it ourselves?

And this:

we just wanted to see where fake-news articles about the band would go. The media is built for clicks now, and we were trying to see firsthand how it all works.

And this:

So it was really interesting to us to see what got picked up about Arcade Fire. That idea plays into what we were doing as well: We were providing the ammunition for people who wanted to write negative things about the band: Here you go! Here’s something to be outraged about!

seems like despairing cluelessness and, quite frankly, it's cynical. Which he categorically denies, saying it's maybe their most "earnest" record or whatever. And then we're back at the beginning, that the roll-out was a complete mismatch with what they are trying to express. But no, we didn't get it. Except the French. And Europe. Which is bogus btw.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 22 September 2017 14:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Also, Katherine otm.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 22 September 2017 14:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

He's such a dick.

Also, as i said on facebook about this: perhaps next time spend less time "creating" "side content" and more time writing lyrics that aren't awful.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 22 September 2017 14:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ah yes, France, an oasis of reason and kindness, where one-third of the populace did not vote for a far-right-wing demagogue

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 22 September 2017 15:02 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Maybe the lyrics were bad on purpose. Everything about that? And you fell for them! Sucker.

I call this the Frank Zappa defense. Oh, you thought the music was brilliant? Well it was a piss take, and you fell for it. Oh, you thought the music was terrible? Well, it was terrible on purpose, and you fell for it!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 22 September 2017 15:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

haha, that should be ever think, not everything. Stupid phone. Now I know exactly how Trump feels.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 22 September 2017 15:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

infinite content, we're infinitely covfefe

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 22 September 2017 15:28 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Oh Will, you asshole you're tarnishing whatever good songs the band previously had with that attitude. He's turning into indie BIlly Corgan.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 22 September 2017 16:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

shocking that a guy who hadn't lost a parent or lover or sibling but named his debut album funeral anyways would eventually be revealed as tone-deaf cluebag

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 22 September 2017 16:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The infuriating part is that he refuses to believe what people didn't like about the album was the music, but the campaign. A couple of years from now when the album is revised without the "fake news" context, will the reviews be kinder to the music and lyrics? I doubt it.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 22 September 2017 16:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i am lolling at this guy and his Adbusters for Dummies.

its pretty easy to ignore though. he seems genuinely stunned that a record label would be successful at doing the thing that they do. he isn't saying anything new, criticizing internet hate is the easiest thing in the world to do.

Internet Outrage is the Background Radiation of the modern era. everyone exploits it constantly. there is nothing insightful about noting this, people note this constantly, all day long, every day. it just makes it more pathetic when you try and pretend that pointing this out is some brilliant thing people aren't picking up on.

maybe try no concept next time this over achieving pomo marketing is off putting.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 September 2017 16:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Like I said, he could have said everything he needed to say on the tour. There was absolutely nothing about "Achtung Baby" the album that tied it to the themes of the Zoo TV tour. The difference, of course, is that "Achtung Baby" is awesome, and by all accounts this Arcade Fire album is not. Start with good music, music that means something to people, and you earn the right to be heard, let alone the right to preach.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 22 September 2017 16:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

he should put 'Band Is Really Amazing At Music' on a T shirt instead.

piscesx, Friday, 22 September 2017 17:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Like I said, he could have said everything he needed to say on the tour. There was absolutely nothing about "Achtung Baby" the album that tied it to the themes of the Zoo TV tour. The difference, of course, is that "Achtung Baby" is awesome, and by all accounts this Arcade Fire album is not. Start with good music, music that means something to people, and you earn the right to be heard, let alone the right to preach.

― Josh in Chicago, Friday, September 22, 2017 4:29 PM (fifty-eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This is interesting and otm. The huge difference - apart from AB being a great album - is that U2 did succeed in merging the earnest and the obscene/cynical, mostly through Bono's Mephisto personage. It was a very clever move to comment on consumerism by taking on a Faustian guise, and take nothing away from 'saviour Bono' (for better or for worse).

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 22 September 2017 17:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The other part of it is that when you make a record in this modern context, it instantly gets refracted in the media. There’s all this side content, this trail that follows everything. So we thought that maybe we’d just make all that content, as opposed to just making the art.

ban optics metaphors

you are juror number 144 and we will excuse you (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 22 September 2017 18:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Band Is Really Amazing at Music and Plays a Live Show and People Cry Because It’s So Beautiful

niels, Saturday, 23 September 2017 07:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I’m increasingly starting to believe that every musician is a talented, empathetic, normal person, at first, but that the mechanisms and pressures of having to sustain a business based on your ability to document your experience in saleable and relevant ways turns people into antisocial bizarro versions of themselves

fgti, Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:38 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Just going to post what I posted earlier:

Yeah, I've been worrying how this band will take a backlash... They've had one coming for a while now, and even if I like Everything Now more and more, it's a weird album and they fucked up the rollout severely. I'm not sure I see them course correcting gracefully.

― Frederik B, 8. august 2017 23:48 (one month ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Frederik B, Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:47 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The final song on the album ends If you can't see / the forrest for the trees / just burn it all down / and bring the ashes to me Which is lovely. So why the fuck did they decide to sell that sentiment by planting more trees?

Frederik B, Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I have worked with and been personal friends with a number of clients through their ascendency, their halcyon days, a period of backlash, and then the doldrums that follow, and I think that it's a far more terrifying complicated and beautiful thing than anybody could ever imagine

I think about it with all my present clients who are currently golden-children-who-can-do-no-wrong, seeing their management teams throw absolutely everything their way, seeing, literally, reality bend to meet their needs, as private jets are hired to accommodate a night out, or orchestras summoned to magically appear onstage to Elicit Even More Pathos, and seeing tens-of-thousands-of-dollars well-spent to make everything work and feel exciting and hold the audience's attention

And then there's this moment where the person and their music loses all its potential energy, and now it feels like an inert presence, and their words and the sentiment of their music no longer feel valuable but actually unwanted, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as their songwriting voices become solipsistic, and we're left with whatever-the-fuck-it-is that this music is trying to do

fgti, Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:07 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Now, see - and you would absolutely know better than I - but Arcade Fire never seemed like superstar personalities. That is, people like the music and they are great performers, and that is why they're popular, not because Win is some pin-up or Regine gets on TMZ or something. They seem (and again, could be wrong) like they could easily go out anywhere and not be recognized/bothered, or chased down the street or whatever. A lot of pop stars definitely go down the rabbit hole of fame you observe, but I think that's often because they can't go out, or are so famous they need to be isolated or isolate themselves. People like Bono, or Bowie, or maybe even, say, someone like St. Vincent, recognizable icons; I suspect they exist/existed in a parallel universe of private back rooms, surrounded by other famous faces. They have to be careful with their statements, because people parse and misquote. They have to be careful who they hang out with, because people are always taking their picture. But Arcade Fire? They just seem like the wrong vectors/vessels for jaded cynicism. I don't know if someone's been whispering in their ear, or if they really feel like they have something to say but don't know how to say it, but it just feels wrong from them. Like someone yelling "pay attention to me!" and then saying something silly, and then complaining that everyone is listening and hearing the wrong things. Almost as if they wanted to be jaded rock stars as a pretense to thematically protesting the role.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I do agree with Win that the album is not 'jaded cynicism' at all. It's very very earnest. But the cynicism of the campaign, of parts of their performance at Roskilde, and of this interview, perhaps hits even harder because everything else is so earnest. Like, where the fuck is this coming from? What happened? But yeah, I guess you get lost in the hall of mirrors from time to time.

Frederik B, Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Josh, that's a thread of analysis that I don't really participate in, I haven't met or worked with a single person occupying a "superstar" role who seemed naturally born into it, or who fitted comfortably into it-- even Bowie was saying dumb solipsistic shit through the 80s and 90s

With regards to this band in particular, I felt and feel as if there are two disparate and incongruous approaches to the songwriting approach. The first is a voice of inclusivity, where the often-used word "kids" is meant to denote the singer and band and audience and world at large. The second is a voice of exclusivity, where "kids" becomes a strawman group, that seems to indict all listeners, and positions the singer somehow morally above the object of their ire.

One astute reviewer referred to this second voice as one that employs "the Dylan-esque 'you'", which I really thought was spot-on.

The second voice started to kind of appear on Neon Bible, but only fully took form for the first time on "Rococo", where the lyric "let's go downtown and watch the modern kids / they will eat right out of your hand / using great big words that they don't understand" subverted the previous usages of the word "kids" ("nothing's hid! from us kids! with the lights out!"; "us kids know / no cars go"; "all the kids have always known / that the emperor wears no clothes").

The effect is like when your wife or husband spitefully uses a term of endearment in a fight, a sneering "have it your way, SWEETIE," and effectively ruins all past and future usages of that term of endearment

That's my biggest concern, really, just a songwriter's voice that once spoke for the audience, and now seemed to turn around to indict the audience. If you're singing vaguely about a group of people you don't like, it's possible the audience will feel personally attacked-- "is he calling ~me~ a hipster?"

Anyway

The lyrics on this album don't work for me, and it's frustrating to revisit an album like Funeral where a title of a song is maybe sung once or not at all in the lyrics, to an album like this one where the title of a song is repeated more often than is beautiful

fgti, Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

You are so massively otm about 'kids' :(

Frederik B, Saturday, 23 September 2017 15:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

It's funny to me that more people are waking up to the fact that Arcade Fire is terrible. Funeral had a bunch of good tracks, and everything since then has been largely awful, with a few small exceptions.

Moodles, Saturday, 23 September 2017 15:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I disagree with that assessment, but agree with much of fgti's aforementioned. I think the band's problem (if it's a problem) is that they are really good with general feelings, but less strong with statements. Unlike, say, Springsteen, they're just not as suited to big picture commentary as they are to catharsis; I can't defend the last couple of Coldplay records, for example, but I do think they made a concerted effort to dumb things down to better match the simple, broad emotions their music is designed to project. AF, it's like they're trying to will themselves into being something they're not, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way, even when you are very smart (like Bowie or, by all accounts, Bono).

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 September 2017 15:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hard disagree with "this band has always been terrible", tho I see and hear that assessment often. What I think people mean is "this band has always been corny" which is like yes obviously, there was never a moment when this band was not corny, but when they pull it off it really works

fgti, Saturday, 23 September 2017 16:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"This band has always been terrible" is lazy challops. 'Funeral' is a near perfect album, whether you have any need for it or not: it's devastatingly honest about its intention: using Grand Gestures to convey Big Emotions in a maximal way. It worked because it was completely, almost embarrassingly honest.

AF going the cynical, 'see what we did here, wink wink' meta route just falls completely flat. It alienates the people who got on board early because of the honesty and lack of cynicism, and I can't really see a lot of new listeners getting excited about it. It's certainly not something you can't find anywhere else.

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 23 September 2017 16:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Counterpoint: The band is still playing the United Center here in a month. Counter-counterpoint: not sold out yet, don't think.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 September 2017 17:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

absolutely superb observation re "kids", fgti. ties in v much with the changing sense of "we" that i had felt in the band's recent music but been unable to articulate/observe in so exact a way.

sean gramophone, Saturday, 23 September 2017 17:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink


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