I picked up Arcade Fire’s new album “Neon Bible” yesterday. I confess, I downloaded the tracks a couple months ago, so I’d already heard it a few times. Now, I loved the first Arcade Fire album and I was interested to see what they would do next. It turns out this album is very different than the first, especially in tone and theme.
As the title suggests, this album deals with Christianity in a very real way. The band spent lots of time rehearsing in a church to prepare for this album and even played the church’s pipe organ on some tracks. In one interview, one of the band members stated:
“Us recording in a church, we had an idea for the pipe organ before that even happened. But Win and Regine, when I first met them, were always talking about if we could ever live in a church that’d be amazing. It’s meant to be a place of community and of that special something that is intangible — spirituality, openness — and you’re really just supposed to feel things, whether it be music, whether it be performance or your faith. I mean, it definitely penetrated the sound of the album.”
Lyrically, the band’s leader Winn Butler explores theme’s of religion, war, and family. The words are often dark and angry, but at the same time they speak to a desire to change the way things have turned out and correct the mistakes.
“Central to the album,” Win Butler says in an interview, “is this idea that Christianity and consumerism are completely compatible, which I think is the great insanity of our times.”