Arguably, Canadian alt-rock darlings Arcade Fire deliver their weakest album to date with ‘Everything Now.’ Regardless, it has still has its moments.
A new Arcade Fire album is an event. The Canadian-based collective rarely do wrong. For the most part, Arcade Fire assemble solid albums. Still, every artist misses or downgrades occasionally, right? In the case of the Grammy-winners who rocked The Suburbs, Everything Now gets the distinction of being their weakest effort to date. Even so, Everything Now is by no means bad. There is some filler though – some moments that don’t feel pristine. Here are my picks for the top 5 songs.
No. 1: “Everything Now”
“Everything Now” is the best song from the album. On the dance-rock joint, Win Butler delivers a respectable, tasteful vocal performance, intact with its fair share of playful moments. The production work is superb, incorporating rhythmic guitars which help retain an acoustic, folksy vibe that contrasts the disco sensibilities. The M.O. Is literally everything now. Throughout the song, the phrase means different things, both good or bad.
No. 2: “Creature Comfort”
“Creature Comfort,” the second single from Everything Now opens in electrifying fashion, with synths leading the charge. Arcade Fire remain in dance-rock mode, but also incorporate some gritty guitar in the mix, not to mention the hard-hitting groove. The themes of “Creature Comfort prove darker than its exuberant sound, encompassing suicide and how screwed up society is. “Creature Comfort” is easily in contention for the crème de la crème of Everything Now.
No. 3: “Signs of Life”
“Signs of Life” isn’t nearly as glorious or transcendent as the crowning achievement, “Everything Now,” but still has its virtues. It’s as groovy as the two preceding singles. Additionally, the production work is top-notch – bass, strings, horns, and so on. A fun record, lyrically, Butler and company encompasses pleasure and excess. The finger is being pointed to the youth for wasting precious time with temporary pleasures.
No. 4: “Put Your Money on Me”
“Put Your Money on Me” puts love, not money, above everything else. Here, Butler sings presumably about his love and dedication to his wife, Regine. On the chorus, he sings:
“Put your money on me / If you think I’m losing you, you must be crazy / All your money on me / I’m never gonna let you go, even when it’s easy.”
Lyrically, “Put Your Money on Me” is more poetic than many of songs on Everything Now, a pro.
No. 5: “Electric Blue”
Like the three singles that preceded it, “Electric Blue” grooves hard. 70s disco, coupled with a rich palette of synth sounds fuel the fire. If nothing more, production continues to be a selling point. Another selling point, at least to some extent, are the vocals. With Regine Chassagne taking over fronting duties, her tone is somewhat polarizing – some’ll love it, others won’t. Given the style of the song and the album as a whole, her confident vocals fit the bill. All in all, “Electric Blue” is one of the better songs contextually, but not in the same league as “Everything Now” or “Creature Comfort,” the two best.
To reiterate, Everything Now marks the weakest album of the Arcade Fire discography. Nonetheless, it has its moments, particularly the pre-release singles. Still, there’s filler that doesn’t entice the listener to revisit it. Ultimately, Everything Now is good Arcade Fire, but not quite great Arcade Fire.
Gems: “Everything Now,” “Signs of Life,” “Creature Comfort,” “Electric Blue” & “Put Your Money on Me”