Bible & Collapse
While there are few records that need to be written about less at this time, asessing my reaction to the new Arcade Fire has been interesting for me. It is a beautifully produced record, with a rich range of sound that extends the first record significantly. There are some fine songs with compelling melodies. Despite these reactions, which should seem to result in fandom of a record, I'm not all that into it.
My brother used to have this '81 Chevette. It was white. It had a topogrpahy of dings, bumps & scars across its body. When we were out on the highway it would begin to resonate & shake at about 70MPH; once he got to 77MPH it would convulse epileptically. And then if he pushed it just a bit faster, just as it felt like the engine block would fall out at any moment, just as it felt that we would all crash horrifically in a ball of flame, the shaking would be gone. Smooth driving through the rural hills of Virginia. It was one of his favorite games. It scared the hell out of me, eleven years old in the back seat.
And it is this form of shambolic redemption that I look for in the rock. If I want precision of sound, technique, skill I tend to look outside of the rock. If I want to the feeling of everything being about to collapse & only a mad vision can save it then I look to the rock. Arcade Fire's first record had a lot of faults that I could point out, but I never paid attention to those faults while listening to that record in the first six months after it came out. I just wanted to feel everything shake.