Okay, my mp3 player (Samsung YP-U2J, don’t ever buy it) has refused to connect to my computer, rendering it pretty useless (unless you want to listen to Of Montreal, Mates of State, Scott Walker, or a book about learning Dutch…), so I haven’t been up on all the latest tunes.
I haven’t made up my mind about Neon Bible yet. I can’t decide if this is Arcade Fire’s next step on the track to being the next Talking Heads or Radiohead or other monumental band with “head” in the name (not that they sound anything like those two; they’re just examples of how their reputation could turn out, I think), or if all their hype is still fueled by the (rightful) hype about Funeral.
If Metacritic is to be trusted, this is the year that all the bands we were hoping wouldn’t slump didn’t. Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Andrew Bird, Of Montreal, the Shins, Ted Leo, !!!, Modest Mouse, etc. are all 75+. But whatever, I haven’t heard most of those yet, so back to Neon Bible:
I mean, Black Mirror and Neon Bible could be slow, brooding masterpieces, or they could just be slow, brooding songs. Keep the Car Running is upbeat and fun, but it’s just Headlights Look Like Diamonds. You could say Antichrist Television Blues is awesome, or you could say it’s monotonous and long. I love “No Cars Go” a lot, but that’s just straight up recycled.
The one thing you can’t argue with, though, is that Intervention is pretty goddamn cathartic. How can they get away with making the entire song one big crescendo? And all the lyrics, I don’t know if they fit together, but “working for the church while your family dies”, “hear the soldier groan all quiet and alone”, “don’t want to fight, don’t want to die, just want to hear you cry”… every line is a big ol' grandiose and paranoid image. Two thumbs up.
Hot Chip is pretty great too, Grizzly Bear is too laid back and solemn for me, RJD2 is pretty cool although I appreciate the more techno stuff than the more hip-hop stuff, Art Brut is funny although I really can’t stand another British-accent-punky band right now, and I don’t know about Islands yet. (I’m really appreciating the old Unicorns album that I never really listened to that much)
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