Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Arcade Fire 

Neon Bible (Merge Records)

Wednesday, Mar 21 2007
"It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive," Springsteen once told us, and the Arcade Fire took this credo to the bank with its debut Funeral, a spin of which makes any good indie rocker yell, "Oh! The humanity!" If that one were a zeppelin accident, glorious and grim and loud and moving, the band's follow-up, Neon Bible, collects sounds from the wreckage: deflated, dismal, and not as interesting as the conflagration that preceded it. The group is now honoring the Boss by trying to sound like him, and it's not a good fit. Jersey bar-rock and mournful Americana is not built from clavicles, glockenspiels, and 18th-century pipe organs, nor should it be.

Neon Bible works best when the Arcade Fire sticks with the rousing, full-orchestra histrionics + lyrics about alienation and despair formula, which once earned it the adoration of all bloggers everywhere. "Intervention" uses that giant pipe organ to perfect effect, adding strings, guitars, glock, and counter-harmonies, amping up the drama and pathos verse by verse, until you can barely resist pumping your fist in the air like, well, like you were hearing "Born to Run" for the very first time. — Frances Reade

About The Author

Frances Reade


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • Star Wars Celebration @ Anaheim Convention Center
    Christopher Victorio brings back photos from a land not so far away of the Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center.
  • Fear FestEvil 2015
    Calibree Photography brings back photos from Fear FestEvil 2015 at Rockbar Theater in San Jose on Friday, April 11. Performances included freak shows, and bands: Ghoul, Orchid, and High On Fire.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular