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Arcade Fire opens the ‘Neon Bible’

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By Daniel Segraves

By Daniel Segraves

If The Arcade Fire doesn’t scare you to death, they definitely will confuse you. They play in churches as well as elevators, there is no fixed musical arrangement (each member seems to play at least three interchangeable instruments), and they even took part in a Saturday Night Live sketch as absurd as their own antics.

Their sophomore album, Neon Bible, was a mind-boggling piece of art before it was even available to the public. The album was announced via an absurd and disarming YouTube video; the title track was performed on an elevator, complete with percussion, magazine-ripping, brass instruments, violins and frontman Win Butler on guitar, singing coolly in the center of the packed space.

The album itself is a wild display of talent showcasing the full extent that a band with endless skill can go to. Neon Bible could very easily be mistaken for a lavish movie soundtrack. A choir and slew of classical instruments coats every song with a rich sense that this band is not just a band; it’s an ensemble of bright musicians.

The first US single release, “Black Mirror”, opens the CD with an uneasy yet interest-grabbing feel. The song is kept very simple; the trademark instrumentation is left out of the foreground and is replaced by odd techno fuzz and a simple piano riff.

As should be expected from such an off-the-wall group, Neon Bible boasts an impressive spectrum of music and ends on a standout track, “My Body Is A Cage”, a thick, bluesy track that builds to a morbid end, with a blazing church organ sounding out the album.

If you are looking for something different, or just need to hear musicianship at it’s finest, Neon Bible is the best album around.

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