New Thing #105: Arcade Fire

Neon_BibleI asked Justin if he knew of any music from Quebec, since I knew there would be a Music Monday while I was in Canada. He told me that Arcade Fire was from Montreal.

I didn't think that was any good, because my mind was focused on Quebec City, where I was headed.

Then it dawned on me that Canada has provinces, and Montreal is in the same province as Quebec City...the province of Quebec.

And I thought that was just perfect.

It may be unfair to say the New Thing here is Arcade Fire - really I only focused on two of their albums - 'Neon Bible' and 'The Suburbs'.

But it is fair to say they are new to me - I knew nothing about them. Well, I remember when 'The Suburbs' came out - it got a lot of attention - but I had never listened to any of Arcade Fire's music.

And actually, as I listened to these two albums, the biggest surprise to me was that there was a female voice on some of the tracks. Turns out, the band is fronted by a husband and wife.

And, as I looked up more information on them, I remembered 'The Suburbs' being such a big deal that year because it won big at the Grammys. And there was an attention-grabbing interactive video for 'We Used To Wait' that allows you to include the home you grew up in as part of the scenery. (Joke's on them - I ran it, but the house I grew up in, though at the same address, looks completely different due to a renovation. Not quite the nostalgia they were going for...but still pretty cool.)

Justin told me he liked these two albums a lot - he said 'The Suburbs' "is very good as an entire album. For sheer song goodness, though," he wrote, "I prefer [Neon Bible]."

I agree with him. Here are some of my own thoughts:

The first thing I thought when I listened to 'Neon Bible' was how much I was reminded of The Killers. (But I don't know who came first. Maybe for many people The Killers remind them of Arcade Fire.) I feel like I've heard 'Keep The Car Running' before, and I thought 'Antichrist Television Blues' sounded very Bruce Springsteen-esque.  My favorite of the songs, I think, was 'Intervention' - I like the organ intro a lot and the song overall is good.

I don't know that I had a particular favorite from 'The Suburbs', but I liked 'City With No Children', and I thought it was interesting that there are two 'Part II' songs on the album...and I liked 'II' better than 'I' in both cases.

But overall I really liked Arcade Fire. I know I'm late to the scene, but that's why I'm doing this. There's one other studio album by the band...what I've learned from these two albums is that I might have to look into that one.