Sunday, December 30, 2007
#1 Album of the Year
#1 Arcade Fire- Neon Bible
Of course this album would be at the top or near the top of my list. As one critic stated earlier this year, "Churches should replace hymns with Arcade Fire songs, more kids would sing along."
The word sublime is used too often to describe a song or album. However, the word applies to this radiant opus. It gets better with each listen and I would be hard pressed to find places for improvement (I know of a few, but that is nit picky).
Based upon the grandeur of this album, the career ceiling of these guys is matchless, this side of Bruce Springsteen and U2. They are potentially in the Radiohead/ REM arch. We are talking LeBron or Kobe world here (with U2 and Bruce being MJ and Magic). Usually great artists create a masterpiece by album 3 (this is my 3rd Album theory- trademarked and to be made public soon). However, every once in a while an artist reaches such heights by album 2 that it is hard to comprehend what album 3 will be (think Radiohead's The Bends).
No other album this year was a significant musically and lyrically (and consequently, spiritually).
A number of songs on this album moved me as a follower of Jesus in ways no specifically "Christian" album has since the heydays of The Seventy-Sevens, The Choir and Vigilantes of Love. Windowsill (the pièce de résistance*), taking direct shots at the consumeristic militaristic empire in which we live is patriotic and pained. (antichrist telivision blues) a little ditty about a former WTC worker and Christian frightened of the world in which he lives and wanting to put his child on display for the world to see asks hard questions of God and himself, questions I have asked and continue to ask. And the single Intervention has resonated deeply with many of my friends- especially the line about "working for the church while my family dies." No "Christian" band would have the guts to say the things they are saying.
Plus, these songs have great hooks and you can dance to them!
It is hard to describe Arcade Fire for those not initiated. I may tell you to imagine Bruce Springsteen as the lead singer of the Talking Heads, if they all attended the same Bible Study and liked traditional instruments. However, that would not be fair to such a wonderful band.
Just buy the dang album.
*i am only using french as a tribute to this montreal based band, not to be pretentious