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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars satire AND a church organ
Everyone reviewing this album seems to have to choose either the can't-beat-Funeral-EVER or wow-WAY-better-than-Funeral approach. To me they are two different records, and you should appreciate them both in their own way! This one is certainly bigger, darker and slightly more experienced, and if that's what you like buy it RIGHT NOW. The gradually building layers of...
Published on 23 Aug 2007 by De_Nada72

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16 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only your heroes can truly let you down
Oh dear, Arcade Fire believe their own press as world's best band and produce album that befits their new capital B 'Big' status, ie an album that kicks off their career as a franchise rather than just a fantastic band with great tunes.

Probably still awesome live, which may well cover the comparative weakness of the songwriting, but the production on this...
Published on 25 Mar 2007 by D. Salmon


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from a late convert, 14 April 2008
By 
Tealady2000 (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
I must confess that I have only just discovered Arcade Fire - and what a find! For me it is like Echo & the Bunnymen and Talking Heads thrown into a pot and mixed around with a huge mix of other sounds - out comes a fantastic album full of urgent, dark, intelligent music. If you haven't got this yet, don't wait any longer!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical., 20 Mar 2007
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
An inevitable evolution of the enticing new sound that is Arcade Fire. Admittedly, the album requires you to listen to it over before you realise its true spark. Such early EP tracks as 'No Cars Go' have been re-recorded for this album, and it is clear that the members of Arcade Fire have taken their new found glory in their stride, and produced a fantastic 2nd album. Tracks such as 'keep the car running' and black wave/bad vibrations ring bells in the ears of previous singles. Fans and newcomers alike will be pleased to know that the Arcade Fire have still only just given us a peep show of what they are capable of. A worthy successor 'Funeral'. A must for all music enthusiasts.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possible heirs to the throne..., 3 Jun 2007
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
It is true, after all. Arcade Fire have progressed beyond all expectations since their debut, 'Funeral', turning a style into a true statement. This album is both dichordant and tuneful, both melancholy and uplifting. Although I am loathe to mention this album in the same breath as 'Ok Computer', there is no other comparison possible for this supremely talented band. In turns powerful, superbly moody and visionary, Arcade Fire simply -know- what is required of them.

This album, from its towering melodies and haunting rhymes, seems to capture the mood of a nation, and indeed the world in one glorious burst. It is indeed the snapshot of 'the now' that is so unnerving and sets this work of genius apart from the others. It is the political content, skyscraping tunes and accessiblity that marks it out as a classic in every sense of the word. From the early insecurity of the 'Black Mirror', through to the haunting tones of 'My Body Is A Cage', you are by turns challenged, inspired and rewarded in equal measure by a band that has seeemingly taken 19th century ideals and shown the world the ghastly reflection of its own creation in a neat (almost) hour-long package.

You would be a fool to ignore the message and at the very least, this supremely talented band. They will be lauded for years to come for this supreme effort and you would be so wrong to dismiss it.

A true classic. 10/10.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars give it a fair chance and you won't be disappointed, 23 April 2007
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
This album is amazing, original and really atmospheric.

Most of the criticsm comes in connection to comparisons with Funeral, which is not fair. They are two totally different albums and the fact that Arcade Fire have made two totally different albums marks them apart from a lot of bands who are trying to do what they are doing but just keep churning out the same stuff.

Despite reviews saying the opposite, I think that Funeral is definately more commercial friendly than Neon Bible, so probably a lot of people who were disappointed with it are those who just bought it for the hype surrounding the band and didn't really invest much energy into getting to know it.

Every song on the album is different and stands alone; there is a tremendous variation in mood throughout, which also works as a whole. Many of the tracks might be seen as very dark but I don't see that as a bad thing, especially with the state of mainstream music at the moment.

If you don't know Arcade Fire have a look at Funeral first which will ease you in to Neon Bible, which I think is much more intense and experimental. It's an album that I didn't really connect with immediately but once you make an effort with it it transforms into something really special.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not since The Smiths has melancholy sounded so joyful., 7 Mar 2007
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
If you have one essential purchase to make this week, this is it.

Arcade Fire have produced a stunning second album that perhaps is more easily accessible than the first. Gone is much of the atonal Talking Heads quality of Funeral and although the idiosyncratic instrumentation is still fully in evidence (harp, hurdy gurdy etc) the resulting sound is far more easy on the casual listener's ear. And in the way that we love Meg White for her simplistic drumming, we can love Regine Chassagne for her slightly off-key singing.

This is a dark and emotional album and there's a sense of peril lurking at the edge of the field of vision - nameless dangers fill a landscape of swollen seas, water lapping at the windowsill's edge and falling bombs. But although there's a pervading sense of impending doom, Neon Bible is by no means a depressing listen. There are moments of such celestial beauty that goosebumps are guaranteed.

It really is a great second album and if you're new to Arcade Fire, the one worth trying out first.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful follow up to Funeral, 27 Feb 2007
By 
Mike J. Wheeler (Kingswinford, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
How can you top "Funeral". It never was going to be possible but at least Arcade Fire have had a go. The weird thing about "Funeral" was that although it was written in a time of sadness for the band, it still managed to be lively. Here we have a different kind of album altogether. I find this much, much darker. It's nowhere near as consistent as "Funeral" but it does contain outstanding tracks along with some more mediocre fare.

The opener "Black Mirror" has a sense of impending doom running through it. Where "Funeral" seemed to imbue a personal, almost private, grief, this seems to grieve for us all. The mood and the pace changes for the next track "Keep the Car Running", a much pacier track. The title track "Neon Bible" is an excellent dose of apocalypse. beautifully understated.

Then we get to one of the two absolute stunners on the album. "Intervention" is just stunning. The sound of this is utterly overwhelming. It has more than a hint of "Saint-Saens" organ symphony about it. This just may be the best song they've done in their short career so far.

The problem is the next track "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations" is such a let down after "Intervention". The female vocals are not good and the song doesn't pick up until Win Butler kicks in. "Ocean of Noise" marks a return to form. "The Well and the Lighthouse" is perhaps the only track on "Neon Bible" that sounds like it belongs on "Funeral". This is lovely, great strings underly the pounding drum and guitar-based rhythm. "Antichrist Television Blues" is an old fashioned rock number, but very good.

Then we come to the close of the album. "Windowsill" is good commercial fare. This could easily be released as a single. "No cars Go" is a reworking of earlier material from the "Arcade Fire EP", but sounds better for being made over, a much fuller sound to me. The comes the finale and the other outstanding track of the album. "My Body is a Cage" has some similarities to "Intervention". The power of the organ music really overwhelms on both tracks. This really is a great closing track, and in its own way like "Intervention" must stand as one of Arcade Fire's best moments.

I really wasn't too sure of this on first listen, though "Intervention" grabbed me straight away, but the more I've listened the more I like. Is it as good as "Funeral"? Make your own mind up. The problem is that they are so different from each other they really are hard to compare. Without doubt though this wil be one of the albums of the year. (9/10)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb music, 14 Jan 2012
By 
markr - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
For me this is the best Arcade Fire album to date - and I love Funeral and The Suburbs too. There is quite a dark feel throughout with lyrics conveying a sense of impending threat, and insistent, mesmerising music. Standout tracks include the quite wonderful Black Wave/Bad Vibration and the beautiful and haunting Ocean of Noise.

Arcade Fire are for me best band to emerge in the last 10 years - can't wait to see what they do next

Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Funeral Part 2 but just as good, 6 May 2008
By 
Shorty11857 (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
Making a second album was never going to be an easy thing for Arcade Fire, Funeral was possibly the worst type of debut album a band could make being that it was absolutely amazing and possibly the best album of the last 20 years. The logical thing to do after making an album that good is to realise it's impossible for you to top it and just not even try...luckily this is not what Arcade Fire do. The band fully realise they can't ever make another Funeral, so instead of trying to make Funeral Part 2, the band instead decide to head in a different musical direction. The thing you've got to realise is that this album is not and will never be Funeral, you can't even really compare the two they're leagues apart and both are completely brilliant in different ways.

The album opens with the haunting "Black Mirror"; the song doesn't just open the album but also sets the tone and atmosphere for the album. The band still uses strings, a lot actually, so if you're not a fan of them this album really isn't for you. The amount of times I've heard about how Arcade Fire over rely on strings is just not even funny; if Arcade Fire do over rely on them then so does Mozart, the strings are a key part of their music so either accept that or don't bother listening.

I never thought I would ever use the word overrated or overplayed when talking about an Arcade Fire song but the album's second song is just that. Don't get me wrong I think that "Keep the Car Running" is a great song but it's probably my second or third least favourite on the album. The song just gets way too much hype.

Sometimes songs are best when kept simple and the album's next track "Neon Bible" is a prime example of this, the song is simple, short and great. Part of me wishes the song could have been longer that it could have become a classic song but it's not and never will be longer. It's just over two minutes long and it's great the way it is.

The first song I heard from this album was the epic "Intervention", and straight away I thought it was amazing. The song is easily the best thing Arcade Fire has ever recorded and that's pretty high praise considering how amazing their albums are. It's a song I could listen to forever and never get sick of and the way things are going I probably will listen to it forever.

"Black Wave/Bad Vibrations" is Régine's song on the album, well half of it is anyway. Halfway through Win takes over and part of me wishes he doesn't, the first half of the song is much better than the second. The second part just sounds a little uninspired especially when compared to the excellent first half and for that reason this song is probably my least favourite one on the album.

"Ocean Of Noise" is another amazing and beautiful song and the next song is just as amazing too. "The Well and the Lighthouse" is probably the band's best use of backing-vocals on the entire album, they really help lift the song from simply being great to being excellent. "(Antichrist Television Blues)" (Another song which makes great use of backing vocals) and "Windowsill" are great acoustic songs, a kind of return to the style of their debut EP. "No Cars Go" on the other hand is actually from the EP and showcases the reasons why they really should rerecord the songs from it, with the higher production standards and better vocals the song really is a classic anthem.

The album's closer "My Body Is a Cage" is probably its second best song, especially for anyone who has seen this song live it really is just amazing, the perfect way to end such an amazing album.

Overall this album may not be as good (song for song) as Funeral but like Funeral the majority of the songs are simply amazing and the album also has a great atmosphere throughout which helps lift it up to being another masterpiece.

Well most bands fail to even achieve one masterpiece in their entire career Arcade Fire have already released two , they've shown they don't need to stick to one style and they've shown they can improve as musicians (especially vocally) and also they've shown themselves to be one of the best live bands there is. If they can keep making albums of this quality there's nothing stopping them from becoming one of the greatest bands of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Successful Change, 10 Sep 2007
By 
Tom Chase (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
Following on from the stirring, morbid and undoubtedly unique journey of "Funeral", Arcade Fire dispels any fears (and critic's expectations) of a slacking follow-up. "Neon Bible" is quite simply one of the best albums I have heard in recent years. Vastly superior to the fields of mediocre pop-rock and even the band's past high standard - this is an album to savour.

Successfully different is the theme for "Neon Bible". Instead of re-hashing a tried and tested formula, the band branch out an array styles and refine their existing idiosyncrasies. New flavours are introduced to spectacular effect - perhaps best shown by the glorious stomping "Antichrist Television Blues", a song many have been comparing to heyday Springsteen due to Butler's stressed and authoritative delivery of lyrics attacking the state of current affairs. A similar theme is applied to "Windowstill", a yearning ballad with Butler singing about his desires to move on and away from this troubled society.

Further developments in sound include the album's sublime closer "My Body Is A Cage", which sees the band entering slow-burning blues, fusing it with the eerie backdrop of searing pipe organs. Similarly, other album highlight "Intervention" showcases the thundering organs as the central piece, with the song slowly picking up pace until it becomes a stomping riot through Butler's potent lyrics concerning the ideals and demands of modern life, "you say it's money that we need, as if we're only mouths to feed", and religion, "working for the church while your family dies", and how ultimately love needs to be tendered, "every spark of friendship and love will die without a home". While these may not be revolutionary lyrics, Butler's compelling style of delivery gives a fantastic sense of desperation, letting his emotions spill out and giving great weight to his words and the music backing it.

I believe these changes make "Neon Bible" such a major success for me, as it shows the band developing and adding new influences to an already exceptional sound. This is not to say "Neon Bible" is just an outing into new territory as there is still that signature vibe and atmosphere, only refined for better effect. This is shown in one of my favourites "Keep The Car Running" which seems a direct continuation of sounds from "Funeral", combining the strong galloping march of "Power Out" and the lush vocal harmonies of "Wake Up", only this time the structuring is concise and trimmed, making for a more refined outing. The same refinement can be said for "No Cars Go", the pinnacle song from Arcade Fire's debut EP, only this time it is executed in riotous style, emphasising the powerful strings and catchy chorus melodies. "Ocean of Noise" strikes me as a great improvement on the slower and brooding ballad approach, and showcases one of Butler's most menacing and brooding performances to date.

Other tracks unmentioned keep the album flowing, and make for an album free of any filler. Songs such as the gloomy opener "Black Mirror", the subtle atmospheric title track and the two-part "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations" round off "Neon Bible".

"Neon Bible" lived up to my expectations and delivers one of the most powerful and stirring albums in recent years. Combining the old triumphant sound of "Funeral" and executing new influences and styles, the album is sure to please fans old and new.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best live tracks are not always the best on CD..., 30 July 2007
By 
R. P. Greenhalgh "Richard P. Greenhalgh" (Frome, Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
I love both the albums and I saw them live (for the first time) headlining (their first festival headline spot) on Sunday at the 2007 'Latitude Festival'.
There is not much I need to add to the previous reviews except to say that some of the tracks on 'Neon Bible' that many have found underwhelming were actually amongst the best when played live - 'Black Mirror' was particularly impressive.
They played a good selection of tracks from their first album including Neighborhood (Tunnels) but 'Haiti', with Régine on vocals, was a haunting highlight.
If you get the chance to see Arcade Fire live just take it...
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