Everything Now is Arcade Fire doing everything bland

August 9, 2017 · Print This Article

In Pitchfork’s pan of the new Arcade Fire record, they referred to the music as “Banksy rock,” and I can’t say I completely disagree. Much like the work of the famed graffiti artist, Arcade Fire is often way too on the nose for my taste. Their marketing campaigns and concert etiquette are needlessly pretentious at worst, but for the past several years, the band has made up for this with its breathtaking music. Funeral and Neon Bible were masterpieces in my opinion, and even Reflektor had its moments.


That being said, the Montreal-based group’s latest album Everything Now falls flat when compared to previous offerings. I know it isn’t fair to compare a band’s latest work to its past, but realistically, it’s going to happen. The first “full length” track (preceded by a 45 second clip), also titled Everything Now, reminds me way too much of the bland elevator music that corporate played at the TJ Maxx I worked at in high school. A more seasoned fan might say that’s intentional, but what good is music if it’s not enjoyable? A recent Spin article talked about them “trolling” fans; that stopped being funny or original ten years ago, if you ask me.

To be fair, it’s in no way BAD music, just bland. Which in my opinion is nearly worse. The following track, Signs of Life, fares somewhat better in terms of sound. It’s a good song to dance to in the same vein as Porno off the Reflektor album. Still, lyrically, I find it lacking.

Indeed, the lyrics are the biggest issue we should take with this album. Arcade Fire has always been topical, but the words to Infinite Content sound less like “one of us” fighting North American imperialism and excess, and more like someone’s obnoxious older brother who drinks craft beer and whines about technology while reading Vice articles on his phone. “Infinite content, infinite content, we’re infinitely content” sung in a smug, distorted voice? No thank you, Win Butler, I get enough pseudo-philosophy from the nineteen year olds in my ethics class.

In a word, I would call Everything Now disappointing. For a band like Arcade Fire, one that can comfortably call itself iconic, this album will go down in my book as a bad chapter in a long line of hits. And it’s entirely possible I just don’t get it. -Hannah Barger


Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.