Tuesday, June 03, 2014


Listening to Arcade Fire (via a Kindle) is almost an interesting experience, but not quite. Never an early adopter of anything (except Knausgaard and junk foodstuff) it's taken me years to get round to listening properly to these multi-skilled indie kings and queens, all critically acclaimed and award winning musicians etc. What do I find then? It's really a musical soup, ongoing like an eternally simmering, occasionally stirred vegetable heavy pot of gloop, played honestly, sincerely (I assume the words must mean something) and with enthusiasm. After about three or four portions of soup, I'm looking for a change, that doesn't come, just more soup which eventually becomes an great murky ocean. There's no bread or a bit of titivating cheesecake either, nothing to vary the dynamics of a menu based on being as soupy like as you can be. Clearly this convinces and pleases some, (it's not unpleasant) but not me. It's just relentlessly homogenized breed of modern music, phrases and fills and english words, not high on melody and construction. Probably (and I'm not really familiar with their stuff either) it moves across and into the grim Mumford & Sons universe. You can see this self indulgent gene out there in singer/songwriter land, a common problem. They get a hold of a minor chord and just wont let go. Their goal seems to be to paint the world in the drab colours of their self tortured post-student souls, the assumption being that their audience needs to hear that primal howl and moan; now in Arcade Fire a whole band of ethnically uncleansed instruments goes with it and that makes it all credible in a phoney way. So all the songs are seriously worked on and worked up and performed (eyes closed) as intensely because it all means something, something which I think you could sum up as being; soup.

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