Friday, 2 February 2007

Neon Bible

The Kooks. The Automatic. The Fratellis. The View. Kaiser Chiefs. Especially Kaiser Chiefs. You are all mediocre. I concede that your brand of bouncy indie pop will always have a following and that this may be enough for you. You'll squeeze out a few albums, have a cracking good time and maybe even earn a few quid to fall back on. Good luck to you.

But don't you ever think that you could try harder? Maybe you're restricted, talent-wise, and are trying as hard as possible already but I don't believe this (Kaisers excepted). I just think that you're scared. Scared to move out of your comfort zone and aim for the stars. Scared of offending your fanbase (don't worry about the fans, you'll be replaced in their affection as soon as they're fed-up with you). Scared of failure. Well, you should all hang your heads in shame. One listen to Neon Bible will tell you why

Arcade Fire have somehow, amazingly, miraculously, improved upon Funeral. It's as if Win Butler and his merry troupe all decided to raise their game by about 20%. The overall feel of Neon Bible is pretty similar to Funeral, but everything seems just a bit bigger. Loud bits are louder, quiet bits quieter, hooky bits hookier. It grabs you by the throat and screams "THIS IS MUSIC!!!". It's glorious from start to finish and won't be bettered this year by anyone. It's the kind of album that makes me angry that I have to listen to so much other rubbish on the airwaves, hence my little outburst in the first paragraph.

Surely Arcade Fire aren't that much more talented than our indie popstrels. They're just trying harder. They understand how fortunate they are to be able to make music for a living and are constantly striving to justify themselves. And I'm just one of the lucky beneficiaries of their will to improve themselves and their musical environment.

In 43 days from now I get to see them play live at last and I'll be able to die a happy man. Actually, I'll wait until after Glastonbury. Yes, that's a better idea.

No comments: