Close, but no white smoke I’m afraid. It was always going to be an impossible task to repeat the magic of ‘Funeral’ and the Arcade Fire have so nearly pulled it off. This is a monumental achievement in itself, set against the best album of the century (thus far) most works pale by comparison but the Arcade Fire’s sophomore album ‘Neon Bible’ proves to be a valuable companion piece. Not much has changed, the dynamics are still irresistible and tracks like ‘Black Waves/Bad Vibrations’, ‘No Cars Go’ (a reworked version of an oldie from the ‘Us Kids Know’ EP), ‘The Well and The Lighthouse’ and ‘Black Mirror’ could have easily sidled up alongside the songs from the bands debut without ruffling its grandiose take on modern music. ‘Black Mirror’ opens the new LP and it’s a gripping listen that strokes the senses in all the right places. It has an underlying sense of menace, like an audio portrait for the darker scenes in Snow White. The percussion is thunderous and Win Butler adds a healthy dose of ambiguity to a set of lyrics that will soon be bouncing around your head with the accuracy of a panicked brain signal. ‘Neon Bible’ is released on March 6th, the Deluxe Edition is an essential purchase. KD
The Arcade Fire – Black Mirror
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