The Arcade Fire Aims High On ‘Neon Bible’

Thursday, 11 January 2007

The Arcade Fire takes it sound to new and exciting places on its slavishly anticipated new album, “Neon Bible,” which, as previously reported, is due March 6 via Merge. The 11-track set was primarily recorded in a church outside the band's Montreal homebase and features contributions from Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett, Calexico's Martin Wenk and Jacob Valenzuela and Wolf Parade's Hadjii Bakara.

Three tracks have already made the rounds online: the pipe organ-drenched “Intervention” (which is available for sale via iTunes), the wobby, slowly building opener “Black Mirror” and the ominous “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations,” which is initially sung by Regine Chassagne before Win Butler takes over halfway through.

Additional highlights include the sweet, solemn ballad “Ocean of Noise” (“who here among us still believes in choice / not I,” Butler sings), the propulsive, major-key rockers “Keep the Car Running” and “The Well and the Lighthouse” and the hardscrabble “(Antichrist Television Blues),” where Butler's passionate phrasing recalls the Bruce Springsteen of “Born To Run.”

Butler and Chassagne's vocal interplay is at the heart of “No Cars Go,” another driving cut that shows clear evolution from the band's 2004 breakthrough, “Funeral.” The song climaxes with a swell of choir and orchestra.

After multiple-night stands in London, Montreal and New York, the group will go on a month-long European tour beginning March 5 in Dublin.

Here is the track list for “Neon Bible”:

“Black Mirror”
“Keep the Car Running”
“Neon Bible”
“Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”
“Ocean of Noise”
“The Well and the Lighthouse”
“Antichrist Television Blues”
“No Cars Go”
“My Body Is a Cage”

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