My Opinions on Arcade Fire’s Everything Now

If you know me,  or read my blog then you’d know how much I love Arcade Fire. I think they’re the best band of the generation, and no other band I’ve seen live has ever compared to them. Funeral, their debut LP, is my favourite album of all time. I have never felt so deeply attached to an album like that one, it’s simply just beautiful music.

I also am a massive fan of Neon Bible, The Suburbs and Reflektor. I found Reflektor was very hard to get into, and whilst it’s a little long and perhaps a little over-ambitious, it’s got some amazing tracks, and I appreciate it even more now that Everything Now is out…

I’m not going to kiss their asses over everything they do just because they’re my favourite band. I firmly believe that all bands, especially ones that like to experiment with their sound, occasionally release a record that isn’t a hit with fans.

The album has been out for a few weeks now, and I kept meaning to write this review sooner, but I didn’t have time. I am now fairly confident after many spins, that my initial thoughts are fairly the same, therefore I think I’m giving this a very fair review. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the songs that are my favourites. I think the last 2 full songs are easily some of the best work that Arcade Fire have ever done; as the lyrics are up to the bands usual standards, and are deep and personal with a hint of that Arcade Fire magic, you know? The same for title track Everything Now, which I’ve loved so much since it came out. I also felt the same about Creature Comfort immediately as well. I just wish most of the album was as good as  them 4 songs, because some of the songs in the middle of the record just aren’t what I love about AF, which is how complex their music is, where you can listen to a song hundreds of times, and you can hear something you totally missed. Some songs on here are a little.. dare I say it.. average.

Here is my opinion on each track.

1. Everything_Now (continued) 

Okay, so this had already been heard before at the beginning of the video for Everything Now. It’s a short introduction to the album at 46 seconds long. I do enjoy it, and it sets the scene very nicely. I find that it almost sounds RNB to me. I do think the fact this intertwines with the last track is very clever, more on that later…

2. Everything Now 

Ahh, Everything Now. I fucking love this song, it’s such a bop! I genuinely experienced love at first listen with this song since it was released as a single a couple of months ago, and it’s amazing live. Arcade Fire + ABBA = Everything Now :’) The song has a very cheery, infectious beat. But don’t let it deceive you, there is a darker undertone. Basically the song is about how you can literally have everything now. You can watch years and years of TV shows in a few hours, you can listen to the complete back catalog of a band with a 3 decade long career within a simple push of a button. I find this baffling when I think about it. I think this is easily track of the year, so catchy.

3. Signs of Life

Signs of Life was the 3rd single to be released out of the 4 before the album came out, and it’s my least favourite of them all. I really didn’t like it at first, in fact I was there when they debuted it for the first time at Scunthorpe, before anyone even heard the studio version. I knew I didn’t like it from then on, but it has grown on me, and does get stuck in your head. I like the first half of the song, but it just repeats itself too much towards the end of the song. It’s obviously heavily influenced by Talking Heads, which is probably why I like it a little, as Talking Heads are fucking amazing! Lyric-wise, I just don’t like it. I just find lyrics about waiting in lines outside nightclubs is a bit lackluster compared to the amazing songwriting of previous records.

4. Creature Comfort

Another one released as a single before the album, and one of my favourites still to this day. It’s extremely synth heavy, and live it’s so badass. Trust me. I’ve seen some critics give this one stick due to the heaviness of the lyrics, but if you feel like that then don’t fucking listen to Arcade Fire! They tackle subjects such as self-halm and suicide in this song, which are very relevant topics at this day and age. I’m not entirely sure if it’s a personal song to the band, but I have an inkling that it could be. “Assisted suicide, she dreams about dying all the time, she told me she came so close, filled up the bathtub and put on our first record” is my favourite part, obviously as Funeral being my favourite album. Maybe it comes across as egotistic that they’ve claimed that an album has saved someone’s life, but when it’s as good as Funeral, then they’ve got every right to be egotistic! This could be true though, and that’s why I think it could be a lot more personal than people think.

5. Peter Pan 

This is an almost reggae track, and the bass is thumping!  It would sound so good on a proper sound system. It’s definitely one of my least favourites on the album, but I watched an interview with Win Butler, and he said that he wrote this song one night when his Dad was very poorly. I now understand the lyrics better, as before I thought the lyrics were a bit cringy. Now it’s clear to me that it’s about wanting to go back to childhood, and prevent death and illnesses of people you love. I appreciate the song a little more knowing it’s origins, and my Grandad is very sick at the moment, so it explains perfectly how I’m feeling.

6. Chemistry 

Chemistry has gotten so much stick, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I like it. You can hear the band has spent a lot of time in New Orleans, with the use of the brass instruments here. I think it’s so fun and catchy, and I love the riff just before the chorus too. I think it’s a shame that they felt the need to repeat the word ‘chemistry’ so many times towards the end. Not the best song in the world, but enjoyable.

7. Infinite Content & 8. Infinite Content

Ugh, I just can’t bring myself to talk much about this if I’m honest. What was they thinking? I get the whole infinite content thing, which they got the point across a lot better in Everything Now, without being so in your face… I was looking forward to hearing the first of the Infinite Content’s, due to hearing it was a punky song, I thought it could be like Month of May, which they pulled it off beautifully. In this song, they repeat the same lyrics over and over again for 1:42 seconds, and then do it AGAIN on the next track. If there was a bit more substance, then this would be a really cool idea. Listen to Month of May from The Suburbs, and then the first Infinite Content, then you’ll see why this makes me so sad…

9. Electric Blue

This is Régine’s time to shine, and I really like it. Sprawl II is one of my favourite songs from The Suburbs, and the same goes for Electric Blue. I didn’t really like it at first, but it’s definitely a grower. I love the bit when she sings really high near the end, it’s crazy how high her vocal range can reach. I can really tell that this song is paying homage to the late Prince and David Bowie. Sound and Vision anyone?! “Blue, blue, electric blue
that’s the colour of my room” ❤

10. Good God Damn

Funky song with a great baseline. Another grower, another bathtub reference. I wonder if the songs lyrics correspond with Creature Comfort? I can feel more Bowie influences here, which isn’t surprising as the band were very good friends of his.

11. Put Your Money On Me 

After a weak middle of the album, things start to pick up here. This song is probably my favourite song on the record apart from Everything Now. I just find everything about it incredible; the beat, the lyrics, the vocals, and  the fact that it feels so vulnerable. I particularly like the second verse, it really pulls on the heartstrings when the trumpets come in and Win sings about trumpets of angels. Sometimes it’s the little things in music that grab your attention. I love how much they sound like ABBA during the chorus, too. I think that’s why it’s my favourite along with EN, as ABBA are one of my guilty pleasures!

12. We Don’t Deserve Love

Warning: this one is a real tear-jerker. At 6.30, it’s the longest song on the album, and whilst admittedly it’s a slow burner, the whole thing leads into one beautiful, heartbreaking ending.  The vocals are so raw, and apparently was done in one take, which makes it even more raw in my opinion. Lyrically, this is the best on the album.

“Keep you waiting, hour after hour
Every night, in your lonely tower
Looking down, at all of the wreckage
When we met, you never expected
And you said, maybe we don’t deserve love”

As I said, it’s a tear-jerker, and a gorgeous one at that. The last verse hits me even harder, for some reasons that I can’t quite explain. Listening to it now and I’m welling up, I’m such a wuss for sad songs, haha. This along with ‘Put Your Money on Me’ really are the saviours of this album to me, and almost make the shitty midsection forgivable…

13. Everything Now (continued)

Another Everything Now, but really cleverly, to go along with the whole ‘infinite content’ theme of the album, it loops perfectly into the first track in a seamless transition. The song is longer than the first track, and I absolutely love it once the string sections come in. I think every Arcade Fire fan will probably feel excited when they hear a violin, because the first two records were so heavily focused on string instruments. I also love this because when I went to go see them in Scunthorpe, Isle of Wight and Manchester, they came out to this version of Everything Now, so it brings back some great memories for me.

Final verdict?

I like about half of the album, which isn’t good as usually I can listen to Arcade Fire’s albums back to back without skipping. I think it’s hard to believe that this is the same band who made Funeral, but bands move on, and this is where they’re at now, and no matter what their still the best live band on the planet. I personally think that the songs I enjoy are just as good as their old material, but I just find a lot of the tracks to be kinda lifeless and just everything Arcade Fire wasn’t before. This is their first album that hasn’t been received greatly by critics, so as this is their 5th LP, they haven’t done bad! They’re still my favourite band by a million miles!!! 🙂

Las Ramblas :(

Paul and I visited Las Ramblas in Barcelona in May; just as terrorist attacks were getting worse in Europe, and a lot of these vehicle related attacks were happening. Whilst walking, we were saying how easy it would be to drive a car and kill a bunch of people, seeing as it’s one of the busiest streets in Europe, and due to the fact that there was no bollards to protect us at both the ends of the street. The moral is that some of these deaths could be prevented, for example, the Manchester Attack had no security checks at the entrance of the train station, and was able to kill a big group of innocent people as they left Manchester Arena. I know all terrorist attacks can’t be prevented, but I do believe that doing a risk assessment at big cities main touristy areas is needed, as a simple thing such as putting a bollard up or doing extra security checks can save many lives…. I don’t feel like things get taken seriously until someone dies! RIP to all who have died </3 Breaks my heart!!

Life Blog: Bali Planning, Bingo Playing and a Whole Lot of Chilling.

I have stayed in all day today due to having a bad stomach, so I’ve tried to be as productive as I possibly can from the comfort of my own sofa. =]

Paul and I are currently trying to work out our itinerary for our Bali trip, as it is fast approaching! We fly 3 weeks on Sunday, which is scary as we are so unorganised. I served a rather charming old lady when I worked in a supermarket, who had literally travelled to every country you could think of, and said Bali was her favourite place in the world to visit. I then got home and looked it up and instantly fell in love and wanted to go. Paul wasn’t too keen on going at first, but now he is showing as much excitement as I am now.

I am a little nervous to go, as neither of us have experienced a culture other than a westernised one before, so it’s going to be a first for us both. For such a small island there’s a lot to do, which is a good job as we’re not the sunbathing type. I am particularly looking forward to going to Ubud, which is basically being slap bang in the middle of a jungle, and looks so rich with culture. Plenty of temples and rice  paddies and things like that. We have some fun activities planned in Ubud, such as white water rafting. Cannot wait! We’re staying in Seminyak, which is the classy and upmarket side of the island, and then we’ve got to decide where to head after that. We are travelling to the Gilli Islands too, which look absolutely stunning.  I’m really sea sick, so hope the sea isn’t too rough as it’s a 4 hour trip. I’m really excited though as Gilli T doesn’t have any cars, so that’s really going to be a new experience! I’m just dreading the flight as it’s 18 hours. I have loads of books and my Nintendo Switch to keep me occupied, luckily.  I’m sure we’ll be fine…

Apart from my bad stomach, life’s pretty good. I hope I start feeling better soon as I don’t like being stuck in. I just keep getting a really sharp pain near my belly button and I’m not sure what it could be. I have an obsession for tobasco sauce at the moment, like I’m putting it on everything. Chicken, fish, and even crisp sandwiches. I know that last one sounds weird, but it tastes soooo good! Trust me. Anyway, Paul told me that I put like half a bottle on my crisp sandwich whilst drunk, and I haven’t been the same since. I am going to lay off it for a while anyway and see if that helps. Why am I telling you this? Hahahaha….

I had a really cool weekend last weekend. I went out to the pub Wednesday night instead last week – the infamous tobasco sauce night – and so I just went to a friend’s house on Friday. I actually love doing that at the moment. I think you can have a way better night chilling out, playing drinking games and just having a laugh. Yes, I know, I’m getting old. 

My Grandad has been very unwell in hospital for 5 weeks now, and so my Mum asked me if I’d join her in keeping his partner company on Saturday night at Bingo. Told you I’m getting old!

I never played Bingo before, and I actually found it really intimidating at first, if I’m being completely honest. I am such a wuss. I made the most of the cheap beer and food before the main game. I actually really enjoyed myself, haha! Unfortunately I didn’t win, but I’m definitely going to go again sometime soon. I couldn’t believe how many people I recognised; there was quite a few people I knew about my age. I’m not as uncool as I previously thought ;D

I’ve been replaying Kingdom Hearts on the PS4 ,which is a wonderful trip down memory lane. They just don’t make games like this anymore! I’m proper excited for KH3 as well. The footage I’ve seen where it’s set in the world of Toy Story – SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!!

I really think that they need to remake the original Spyro trilogy. I loved them games, and I think they’re way more remake worthy than Crash Bandicoot. Game devs, if you’re reading this then Y U MAKE SPYRO SO UGLY NOW? Seriously man, the Spyro that I know and love was such a little cutie ❤ but this imposter that we’ve got in Skylanders is a fucking ugly, gargoyle looking C **T #makespyrocuteagain #stillloveyathoughspy

I’m proper into Father John Misty at the moment. I just think he’s one of the best singer songwriters around, and I don’t get why he’s not more popular than Ed Yawnfest Sheeran. There is no comparison in my eyes,  I just think FJM’S lyrics are amazing, and ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ has became a really special song to me. I both laughed AND cried when I first heard it. It’s a love song, but not in the typical sense. I think that’s why I like it, as most love songs portray love to be perfect, which it is far from sometimes. Imagine your Grandma’s face if you had this as your wedding song though. Hilarious!

I’d say the best way to describe Father John Misty is a much more talented, sarcastic version of Michael Buble. Not entirely sure if that’s accurate, but I read someone comment that on YouTube and it made me laugh. He’s also got the whole badass-no-fucks-given attitude and I love that. There’s not many characters like that in the public eye anymore. Everyone’s so worried about offending someone these days!  Anyway, the whole album of the same name is just a beautiful work of art, and one of my favourites I’ve heard in a while. I also enjoyed his latest album ‘Pure Comedy’, but not as much as ILYHB. I’m just gonna leave this here. Take care, honeybear.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Think the Experience of Listening to an Album is Ruined

Here is something a little bit random to say the least, but as a big music lover I feel quite frustrated that I haven’t been blown away by an album that’s been released in ages, or maybe it’s just the whole experience has been ruined for me. Here’s the thing, I’m a lover of the CD, and yes, I know I should stop being so old-fashioned and get with the times. I do stream music of course, in fact I’d go as far as saying that using Amazon Music via my phone is my main way of listening to music, either through my headphones or an aux cable in the car. I mean having thousands upon thousands of artists at the click of the button is amazing, and I have discovered some of my favourite bands by doing this. No shade, I  just something is missing and I think I know why I feel this way.

2 of my most anticipated albums this year disappointed me a little. First up was one of my favourite bands from secondary school; You Me At Six, and secondly my beloved Arcade Fire. The first issue to me is that albums aren’t really bought anymore, and people seem to just stream individual songs instead , therefore so much emphasis is put on the singles, leaving filler tracks to be one of the very few unheard songs.

Let’s talk about You Me At Six’s ‘Night People’, which by the way is a fucking good album, although it failed to leave a lasting impression on me after the first few spins. I remember a time when my best friend and I was literally o b s e s s e d with this band. I will always have a place in my heart for YMAS, purely because of the good times with my best friend, and their first 3 albums were literally all I played from like 14 – 21. I genuinely don’t think that I’d enjoy them as much now if I had only just discovered them, but obviously I still feel excited when I hear they’re doing new music or touring.

Night People is a pretty short album with only 10 songs, and before the release date FIVE of the tracks were released. That’s half the album! I feel like it’s pretty underwhelming to get half of an experience that you used to when listening to an album. I do think that listening to the full thing gives the songs more meaning, but I miss them days when I got an album through the post, and it was actually something completely new and exciting. I know what you’re thinking… Don’t listen to the songs until you hear the CD – but it isn’t that simple when you love a band and can’t help yourself. And now that brings me onto Arcade Fire’s ‘Everything Now’.

I’m actually going to do a review of Everything Now as I’m such a big Arcade Fire fan, so I’m not going to go too much into what I did/didn’t like about the album. I do feel like I want to defend my favourite band, as I don’t think the album is as bad as some critics are saying, but I do think the arrangement of the singles has a big factor in why music critics aren’t loving it compared to their previous work. Why you may ask? BECAUSE THE BUZZ OF HEARING AN ALBUM FOR THE FIRST TIME IS GONE BECAUSE YOU’VE HEARD HALF THE FUCKING THING! And let’s be real; these bands need to sell records, and as physical music is a dying art they obviously are going to release some of the strongest songs first. ‘Everything Now’, the title track and lead single is the best song on the album to many still. You don’t actually listen to a new song until track 5, ‘Peter Pan’, which happens to be their weakest song on the album, perhaps even the weakest song they’ve ever done. The next 3 songs aren’t great (by Arcade Fire standards, they’re still good but nowhere as good as something you’d find on Funeral or The Suburbs). Next up is ANOTHER song that we’ve already heard, then the last 2 are the saving grace – ‘Put Your Money On Me’ and ‘We Don’t Deserve Love’, which are two bloody beautiful songs, by the way. I think if I had that euphoric feeling that I first had with ‘Everything Now’ and ‘Creature Comfort’, paired with the last 2 tracks I would have had a much more enjoyable listen. I honestly think that this is ruining what music is really about…

Like all I wanna do is have an album playing, with the lyric booklet in hand reading word for word, whilst feeling engrossed in somebody elses world for a bit. Is that too much to ask these days?

#rantover