28.9.08

neon bible

Maybe I found a reason for why Neon Bible I just couldn't get with, it was so exhausting, you know, like you needed to lie down after listening to it. So maybe there was something else that Funeral had that this one didn't (funerals?). Oh god, I'm just not sure, and I don't want to throw it all out, but it's hard to disagree:
People who enjoy this album may think I'm cloth-eared and unperceptive, and I accept it's the result of my personal shortcomings, but what I hear in Arcade Fire is an agglomeration of mannerisms, cliches and devices. I find it solidly unattractive, texturally nasty, a bit harmonically and melodically dull, bombastic and melodramatic, and the rhythms are pedestrian. It's monotonous in its textures and in the old-fashioned, nasty, clunky 80s rhythms and eighth-note basslines. It isn't, as people are suggesting, richly rewarding and inventive. The melodies stick too closely to the chord changes. Win Butler's voice uses certain stylistic devices - it goes wobbly and shouty, then whispery - and I guess people like wobbly and shouty going to whispery, they think it signifies real feeling. It's some people's idea of unmediated emotion. I can imagine Jeremy Clarkson liking it; it's for people in cars. It's rather flat and unlovely. The album and the response to it represent a bunch of beliefs about expression and truth that I don't share. The battle against unreconstructed rock music continues.
Green Gartside of Scritti Politti on Neon Bible
Let go of expression and truth? Or reconstruct them?

2 riffs:

Harriet said...

BULLSHIT!

What is life without "mannerisms, cliches and devices"?

Lawson said...

good call!

i continually find myself stuck between the poles of noise and Arcade Fire - depends on my mood i guess.