Picks and Pans Review: The Arcade Fire
REVIEWED BY CHUCK ARNOLD
They named their 2004 debut Funeral, and this Canadian outfit is still in a morose mood on this creepily good follow-up. The ominous opening track, "Black Mirror," sets the dark tone, with lead singer Win Butler warbling, "I walked down to the ocean/After waking from a nightmare/No moon, no pale reflection." The gloom and doom continues on the aptly titled "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations," which features Butler's wife, Régine Chassagne, leading what eerily sounds like a demonic children's choir. (The group also includes Butler's younger brother Will on bass, keyboards and percussion.) Throughout, the band seems to be possessed by the spirit of goth greats like Joy Division, the Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen. Neon Bible—which was recorded in a church around their native Montreal—reaches a gloriously macabre climax with the funereal pipe organ of the closer "My Body Is a Cage," on which a tortured Butler wails, "My body is a cage/That keeps me from dancing/With the one I love/But my mind holds the key."
DOWNLOAD THIS: "My Body Is a Cage"