Arcade Fire – Everything Now

On Spec 5: Arcade Fire – Everything Now

Needing a wee bit of a break from all the metal (don’t worry, there’s more soon!), I thought it was time to try out the Arcade Fire again. I may be an odd man out on this one (I have no idea, lemme know in the comments), but this group’s work hasn’t ever done much for me. I’m willing to keep trying, though, because I feel like I should like them, somehow, ya know? Anyway. I got this one brand new, still in the shrink wrap, for cheap. And it’s their most recent, from 2017. Someone didn’t even try it before ditching it. Should this worry me? Let’s find out…

The title track [after a wee intro bit called Everything_Now (Continued)] is one I knew from work, as it’s a single so it gets play on our piped-in muzak. I wouldn’t have known it was them, though. Anyway. It’s a breezy, 70s disco-ish track with acoustic guitar backbone. Wiki tells me it contains elements of The Coffee Cola Song by Francis Bebey. Signs Of Life (another single) keeps that light and airy dance feel, funky pop with sweet soul backing vocals. Creature Comfort, another single, is lyrically one of the coolest things about the record, a rant about/against the desire for fame. It brings the synths up front and moves us into the 80s. I liked the chorus bit “…make me famous/if you can’t, just make it painless.”

Peter Pan goes deeper into the electronic depths, throbbing and blipping with touches of sampled reggae (I think). Odd. Chemistry has a bounce… it wants to be an old soul song that married a ska song. It took a while to build, but it ended up not bad overall, with an alright breakdown section. Infinite Content ramps us up to some sort of weird 80s-ish punk, but with everything distorted and compressed and brittle-sounding. I don’t know if I like this or not. I just don’t know. This is followed by a slow country swing called Infinite_Content, a reprise that is a full 180 from its predecessor namesake.

Electric Blue (another single) is electrobeat falsetto vocal nonsense. God, it goes on for four minutes. This did nothing for me. Good God Damn is what I’m trying to give here, with this record. The track of this name is simple, a bit slinky, still with that disco by way of 80s chord changes feel, but way better than the tracks before it. Put Your Money On Me (another single) has a restless bassline and keeps us rooted firmly in the 80s with occasional falsetto and a beat people will want to dance along to, I’m sure. We Don’t Deserve Love is the atmospheric slower track, with drum machine and wonky synth backing. And the album is rounded out by a slow, throbby Everything Now (Continued) reprise of the opening single, strings and all (and a very abrupt cut-off ending. This wasn’t necessary at all, in fact it detracts from the way the album could have ended as We Don’t Deserve Love wound down. No one ever asks me if things are a good idea or not, though, so they go and do dumb ‘artistic’ things like this.

In Sum:

Looking back at what I wrote, I realize I wrote way too much about an album I didn’t much like. This is still not my stuff. And I’m not saying that just because the last four records I’ve played have been metal and punk, I just have never dug this sound. It feels all light and airy, all surface, no meat on the bones. I know they have their fans, and that’s great. I just can’t find anywhere to really sink my teeth into this album, well, except the lyrics of that one song, and that’s slim pickings indeed. I’m a bit boggled that this thing has five singles released for it. Whut. Anyway, I’ll probably never play this again, and it’ll be a long while before I try these guys again.

19 thoughts on “Arcade Fire – Everything Now

  1. Marshall Gu says:

    Their first three records are earnest arena rock music by way of U2, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen that sounds remarkably fresh and vibrant.

    They disappeared up their asses after.


  2. J. says:

    Haven’t heard this and can’t say I’m interested. As much as I liked the first two albums, I lost interest in them a while back.


  3. stephen1001 says:

    I really like the female singer’s voice! But I’ve never warmed up the the male singer, not to the point of anaphylaxis, but just not my cuppa either. I did quite like Stars though, who would probably qualify as one of their contemporaries

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1537 says:

    I’ve never really seen what everyone else saw in this band. I thought the title track was inoffensive enough, but I’m not really looking for inoffensive.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yeah, it’s OK, but nothing to get excited about… and when I was reading about this one apparently there was all this hype surrounding the release and people were eating it u… and then I heard the record and went, um, why?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. boppinsblog says:

    They have the potential to go heavier and be like The Arkells (although I prefer Max Kerman’s voice), but sadly they have gone down the dark road of Bumford And Sons mixed with too much electronic drivel.


  6. uncleb13 says:

    Such a strange band…I’ve never seen more people like a band LESS the MORE they’ve been around. By the time this has been out for a bit, it was a full-scale “ABANDON SHIP!” No wonder it was found “cheap, still in shrink-wrap”


    1. keepsmealive says:

      I hadn’t realized, until I posted this, that people felt that way. I would have guessed (based on what I know of them and their fans) that everyone loved it and I was an odd man out! As for it being brand new, I’d assumed it was an oversight, someone boxing up stuff to donate and that one got in there by mistake. Who knows! Thanks for Reading!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Exactly. What is it that excites people so much about it? It’s all very fluffy and twee and ‘god I’m so artistic’ but it lacks substance and all it really does is retread beats ans sounds from thirty years ago. jprobichaud says the first three albums are where the better stuff is, so if and when we decide it’s time to try again, that’s the starting place.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarca says:

    I’ve stayed away from these guys, but not sure why. The lead’s voice? The stage full of musicians? I don’t know, it’s like they need to pare down and get back to square. Not really my thing either.


  8. jprobichaud says:

    I’m thinking to myself, if you’re willing to give them another chance, this is not the one I would’ve chosen. I loved their first three but on this one, they’ve really lost their way. It has a couple moments but… really, who am I kidding? I don’t blame you for hating this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yeah I can’t get to it, somehow, I mean it’s fine for what it is, I suppose. I have heard some of the earlier stuff ages ago but none of it stuck in my head. I’d have to go back now, but I’ll keep the first three in mind for whenever I do!

      Liked by 2 people

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