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4.3 out of 5 stars
136
4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2007
'Funeral' was an exceptional album, one that for lesser bands might have also immediately signed a death warrant for any subsequent outings. Thankfully, Arcade Fire are not a lesser band. 'Neon Bible' is an album just as wonderfully rich and textured as the debut that preceded it. 'Keep the Car Running' and 'No Cars Go' perfectly bookend the album, both wonderfully intricate, uplifting anthems that suffer none of the banal simplicity that usually comes with such a tag. There is more orchestration here, a facet that only fails on a couple of minor occasions, but the trio of 'Neon Bible', 'Intervention' and 'Black Wave' are simply fantastic, the latter two proving equal to, if not better than, the majority of the tracks on 'Funeral'. The Arcade Fire are one of only a few truly original and interesting bands around at the moment. If you didn't manage to catch their debut, then by god you need to make sure that this follow-up doesn't pass you by.
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on 23 August 2007
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 different instruments are just beautiful, and I keep finding random bits of lyrics swimming agreeably round in my head (MTV, what have you done to me? Save my soul, set me free!...). Every single song is my favourite. They are all fantastic little masterpieces.
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on 25 May 2016
Consolidation of Funeral, and better, but already signing a bit samey. Don't really want to know what they did next tho. I suspect more of the same. Renee Fleming's version of Intervention was of course far superior.
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on 28 October 2007
LISTEN WITH A GOOD SOUND SYSTEM TO GET THE FULL EFFECT OF THIS ALBUM...
I WAS WELL SURPRISED TO STILL FIND DECENT MUSIC IN THIS AGE.
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on 4 July 2007
A lot to live up to, its safe to say. The 8-10 (or however many you want) piece band from Canada possibly released the greatest album of the decade with there 2004 debut 'Funeral'.

So critically acclaimed with a loyal fanbase, here's another bunch of euphoric opera-rock songs to treat your ears with. Rarely dipping in form, fans will hail this as another masterpiece, but unfortunately, it has a few tame songs, that never really get going ('Neon Bible', 'Black Wave/bad vibrations', 'My Body Is A Cage').

However,these are not by any means bad songs, just with the high hopes and expectations that they were given, your hardly blown away.

Elsewhere, this album is faultless, holding gems such as 'Intervention', 'Ocean Of Noise' and '(Antichrist-television-blues)'. Possibly, this album contains the most epic songs they have ever recorded in 'Keep The Car Running' and 'No Cars Go'.

Overall, a quality effort, from what arguably, is the greatest band in the world. A must for any self-respecting music fan. Your collection isin't complete without Arcade Fire. Simple as that.
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Personally, I was terrified as I waited for the Arcade Fire's second album -- so many bands have made exquisite first albums, only to disappoint with the second.

But there are few missteps in the amazing "Neon Bible," which tries out a new sound for the Montreal band -- it sounds darker, eerier, and thoroughly exquisite. They take the chamberpop sound to a stormy cliffside over the ocean.

It opens with steady acoustic guitar, and a swell of windy synth that sounds like waves crashing on the rocks. "I will walk down to the ocean/After waking from the nightmare/No moon, no pale reflection/Black mirror, black mirror," Win Butler murmurs over a rising tide of clashing piano.

They slip into the shimmering rock'n'roll of "Keep The Car Running," which cascades down into a beautiful folky tune wrapped in synth. The songs that follow continue this feeling: the quietly taut title track, ghostly experimental, transcendent little guitar-piano ballads, soaring organ pop, and even a sparkling, catchy indiepop tune or two.

The Arcade Fire obviously took their time crafting this album, and making all the kind of intelligent rock people expect from them. But the sound is entirely different -- it's darker and stranger than its predecessor, as well as sounding a bit more processed.

Granted, I wasn't crazy about the pipe-organ blues of "Intervention." However, the other songs are sheer brilliance musically -- a beautiful thunderstorm of instrumentation, with the sound of a sonic religious experience. Just listen to the crescendo of soaring voices, drums, horns and strings at the end of "No Cars Go."

As for the instrumentation, it's packed in dense, shifting layers. Flexible guitars, clashing piano, tinkling xylophone, accordion, hurdy-gurdy, bells, dark drumming, strings and samples. The keyboard is the finishing touch, giving everything an otherworldly sound.

As if the music weren't powerful enough, we're given Win Butler's wailing vocals, often backed by one or more soaring female voices. No wonder he sounds so depressed -- the lyrics are full of bombs, flight from hostile countries, and the sorrow of living in interesting times. "Every night my dream's the same/Same old city with a different name/They're not coming to take me away/I don't know why but I know I can't stay..."

The Arcade Fire pour out a powerful, exquisite second album in "Neon Bible," one of the most compellingly beautiful albums this year.
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on 13 March 2007
I never thought they would top Funeral but they have. I was also very wary of all the hype surrounding this album as this so often leads to disappointment, but now after listening to it many times in different environments, I can honestly say that it's one of my favourite albums of recent times.

Particular highlights are Keep The Car Running - I love the use of the string orchestra playing open strings at the beginning and the "crowd voices" towards the end of the song. I also love how Intervention begins with a huge organ sound before the strumming guitars comes in.

My only complaint is the dull album cover! After the EP and Funeral having excellent artwork and cardboard cases, the cover for Neon Bible and the traditional jewel case is a bit of a letdown, but once it's in your CD player, you will not complain!
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on 18 July 2007
both the albums took me some time to get used to. Funeral i gave a chance after reading about it a lot (i do tend to follow the critics, yeah), while Neon Bible i'm hooked to after seeing them live (do that if you have a chance, by the way). if you want "development" or "growth", i'd have to say the lyrics seem more outward than the introspective lyrics of Funeral and also the songs all in all seem a bit more FOCUSED. anyway, i thought Neon Bible gave more of the same as Funeral in how i need to listen to the songs and find the different bits and layers that i like to focus on in each song in order to really appreciate all Arcade Fire has accomplished. don't have any expectations in which way they're going with it and just let it EXCEL in front of your ears.
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on 19 November 2007
I bought "Funeral" in August this year, then in October saw that Arcade Fire had come out with a new CD "Neon Bible". Bought it because I'd liked "Funeral", but "Neon Bible" just blew me away. Arcade Fire have an orchestral approach to music-making and this shows in the full, rounded orchestration, from simple guitar-picking to full-blown church organ, and the layering and building up of instruments and vocals. I have this CD playing in my car all the time, and on my PC at home, I can't stop listening to it. Each and every single song is a winner. They are all strong songs, there are no weak "fillers" as you'd find in some other artist's CDs. Thoroughly recommended listening, buy it or you'll regret it!
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Personally, I was terrified as I waited for the Arcade Fire's second album -- so many bands have made exquisite first albums, only to disappoint with the second.

But there are few missteps in the amazing "Neon Bible," which tries out a new sound for the Montreal band -- it sounds darker, eerier, and thoroughly exquisite. They take the chamberpop sound to a stormy cliffside over the ocean.

It opens with steady acoustic guitar, and a swell of windy synth that sounds like waves crashing on the rocks. "I will walk down to the ocean/After waking from the nightmare/No moon, no pale reflection/Black mirror, black mirror," Win Butler murmurs over a rising tide of clashing piano.

They slip into the shimmering rock'n'roll of "Keep The Car Running," which cascades down into a beautiful folky tune wrapped in synth. The songs that follow continue this feeling: the quietly taut title track, ghostly experimental, transcendent little guitar-piano ballads, soaring organ pop, and even a sparkling, catchy indiepop tune or two.

The Arcade Fire obviously took their time crafting this album, and making all the kind of intelligent rock people expect from them. But the sound is entirely different -- it's darker and stranger than its predecessor, as well as sounding a bit more processed.

Granted, I wasn't crazy about the pipe-organ blues of "Intervention." However, the other songs are sheer brilliance musically -- a beautiful thunderstorm of instrumentation, with the sound of a sonic religious experience. Just listen to the crescendo of soaring voices, drums, horns and strings at the end of "No Cars Go."

As for the instrumentation, it's packed in dense, shifting layers. Flexible guitars, clashing piano, tinkling xylophone, accordion, hurdy-gurdy, bells, dark drumming, strings and samples. The keyboard is the finishing touch, giving everything an otherworldly sound.

As if the music weren't powerful enough, we're given Win Butler's wailing vocals, often backed by one or more soaring female voices. No wonder he sounds so depressed -- the lyrics are full of bombs, flight from hostile countries, and the sorrow of living in interesting times. "Every night my dream's the same/Same old city with a different name/They're not coming to take me away/I don't know why but I know I can't stay..."

The Arcade Fire pour out a powerful, exquisite second album in "Neon Bible," one of the most compellingly beautiful albums this year.
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