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Once more unto the preach
Hot Press brings you an exclusive preview of The Arcade Fire’s hotly anticipated second album, Neon Bible. And yes, it really is worth the wait.
Paul Nolan, 05 Feb 2007
The Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible is undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited sophomore effort since The Strokes’ Room On Fire, and possibly the most anticipated album by a major rock band this side of Kid A.
Indeed, there are further similarities between Radiohead and The Arcade Fire – both made their names with an especially passionate brand of anthemic rock and, perhaps precisely because of the two groups’ unabashed emotionalism on record and in concert, they have both proved exceptionally popular with Irish audiences.
Set for March 2 release, the 11-track collection was produced by The Arcade Fire themselves and largely recorded in a church outside their Montreal base, with guest contributions from Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallett, Calexico’s Martin Wenk and Jacob Valenzuela and Wolf Parade’s Hadjii Bakara. The album largely picks up where Funeral left off, with heartfelt, soaring rock the order of the day, although there is a more expansive sound this time round, with the group at different points utilising hurdy gurdy, pipe organ, a military choir and a full Hungarian orchestra.
hotpress has heard Neon Bible in its entirety and is pleased to report that the album is a more than worthy successor to The Arcade Fire’s landmark debut. Featuring several songs that build from slight beginnings into towering orchestral crescendos, the record is a powerful and affecting piece of work that will be something to behold in a live setting – which means that those Dublin dates in March (which open their European tour) are likely to be truly rip-roaring affairs. The full track-by-track rundown is:
The first single and one of the best tracks. With the ominous title repeated as a refrain throughout, the band conjure an atmosphere of foreboding and paranoia as Butler unleashes lines like: “Black mirror knows no reflection/Cares not for your dreams/Their names are never spoken/The curse is never broken”.