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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