After the quite substantial success of their first album Funeral, there has been a lot of mumbling about where the Arcade Fire would go next. Well, on Monday, I found out. And I’ve hardly stopped listening since. This is truly glorious music. Multi-instrumental and then some. I’m not entirely convinced that there isn’t a kitchen sink in there somewhere, but whatever instruments happen to be in use for any particular song, they all come together quite wonderfully.
Rather than dribble on endlessly about every song, I’ll just highlight one track that really stands out for me: Intervention. It opens with a blast on an organ, and when I say “organ” I mean a proper bloody organ with big pipes, not an ickle Hammond-type thingy. And it works. It’s got a choir!! And some interesting lyrics:
Working for the Church while your life falls apart
Singin’ Hallelujah with the fear in your heart
Every spark of friendship and love
Will die without a home
And when the sweet voices of the choir echo the lines “your life will fall apart” and “the fear is in your heart”, the whole thing is taken to another level. Before ending with the organ that started the song.
There’s a lot more on the album. It’s all I could have hoped for from this band, and a lot more. Promise fulfilled. Stakes raised. Wonderful stuff that demands repeated listening.
 Or a very good imitation thereof. I suspect the real kind, given that at least one church was used in the recording process…