Montreal's Arcade Fire's second CD, Neon Bible released to much fanfare and acclaim about three weeks ago, is every bit as good as the hype suggests. The follow up to 2004's Funeral, Arcade Fire have produced a collection of songs varying in style and influence.
Influence, it's the word you think of most when listening to Arcade Fire. Their work is dripping with influence, with Neon Bible offering hints of Bruce Springsteen, The Go-Go's , The Band, U2, The Police, Fee Waybill and the Tubes as well as some 18th century church music sprinkled in.
These influences, however, aren't in the form of rip-off or blatant attempts to sound like someone, more so flavours, like a chef sprinkling spices over a dish. A quick flavour of the Go-Go's here, a guitar part that sounds like The Edge, a heart wrenching Rick Danko like vocal part. Hints, spices and flavours of others combine to create interesting music.
The songwriting is also mature and professional. No formula here, but clear storylined lyrics, music that drives the song forward and arrangements that solidify the whole into complete music.
Highlights include Keep The Car (U2 meets Eddie and the Cruisers, with mandolin), Intervention, Black Wave/Bad Vibration, with it's very Go-Go's beginning and the very Band like No Cars Go. That's just teh tip of the iceburg, however. Neon Bible is a solid collection, from a band that hopefully, will have a lot to say in the future.