Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada;Arcade Fire has won numerous awards mostly surrounding the Funeral release in 2004. It’s hard to realize that they just started in 2001(wiki). Genres assigned to them are indie, new wave, baroque pop, art rock and post punk revival. A few of the bands that also fall into post punk revival are The Strokes, Interpol and The Hives.
I remember hearing criticism about them being an “overnight success” before I had heard an entire album. I liked them tremendously the first time I heard them and nothing has changed that. It’s nice to be at that age in life which happens for different people at various slots where you just don’t care anymore what others consider cool. I’m thinking more about my reborn affection for a touch of The Eagles now and then on that one.
The first thing that struck me was the progressions and melodies in addition to their music being genuinely something that I hadn’t heard a hundred times before. Instruments used in addition to the basics are piano, violin, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, french horn, accordion, harp, mandolin and hurdy gurdy.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurdy-gurdy)
Perhaps due to my one time absolute love for radio, I’m always glad to see that there are at least a few bands that are both popular and great. They do however confuse me a little with the hidden track which I thought was so 1990. Maybe it’s them doing something that they wanted to do because of their own affection for things of the past. My personal favorite is We Exist. It’s not just the eclectic mix of instruments the way they are used as well as vocals but all of their lyrics are actually saying something. They’re never fillers or something to fill up space.
I don’t even look up their appearances on SNL but thats another story. I will also have to put the fact that they spoke up for Obama on the shelf and enjoy the art for arts sake. I can only imagine that when you reach a certain level of fame, you play certain games. To be fair, I was also hypnotized by the current president going into the first term so maybe they’ve changed as well.
They also worked with James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem on Reflektor, while their essential sound remains constant. I always consider that a good sign of a first rate producer, that you don’t hear them, they bring out the best from the band with little suggestions here and there. I’m only on my fourth listen and I think it’s a seven out of ten. I wish they would give Régine Chassagne lead vocals on occasion, maybe something to look forward in the future.
On the Peter Gabriel companion to 2010’s Scratch My Back, released this year they cover Games Without Frontiers(And I’ll Scratch Yours). So with a David Bowie collaboration on their latest, I’d say that they’re keeping pretty good company. The pattern so far has been three years between releases which also speaks well of them. When bands slap out an album a year it usually shows and not in a good way.
While the first disc winds its way sporadically through the humid alleys and hazy bars of a multi-dimensional shantytown, the second half explodes outward upon the magnificent vista of symphonic discotheque.(Tiny Mix Tapes)
Genre jumping aside, it’s the patterns as much as the riffs that are beguiling here.(LA Times)
There is so, so much content, so beautifully and flawlessly presented that it can be baffling at times. The Suburbs, to many, was decade-defining music. Reflektor, I feel, through both content and design, will be artist-defining.(Prefix Magazine)
They’ve given us something in the present tense that, these days, feels depressingly unfashionable: An Event–an album that dares to be great, and remarkably succeeds.(Pitchfork)