Arcade Fire has returned with new album Everything Now. Since erupting into the mainstream with 2010’s seminal hit The Suburbs, the Canadian collective have tried to embrace a new sound that offered a little less realistic sadness and more disco-tinged nights instead. Their first effort – 2013’s Reflektor – delivered a catchy but bloated listen, like how’d you feel heading for the dancefloor after polishing off a curry. However, with Everything Now it seems Arcade Fire have trimmed down a little and avoided the curry, heading straight into the disco ball instead.
A string of solid singles preceded the record and they all seemed to showcase the above. The title track stunned with it’s holier than thou pianos, ‘Signs of Life’ with its desire to attack the hips with handclaps and The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’-esque sound of ‘Creature Comfort’ all have an immediacy to them which was lacking throughout Reflektor. This results in the first half of Everything Now getting off to a good start, full of pace and momentum to keep going further.
Some songs do stumble a little in their projection but are fortunately backed up with instrumentals that keep everything concise. ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Chemistry’ are a duo that feature questionable direction but do provide a little blanket of groove to keep things moving into the album’s heavy hitters like ‘Electric Blue’. It’s heavy falsetto shines bright against the pristine synths, before we’re swung immediately into the Western sounds of ‘Good God Damn’ wondering what to say to Win Butler asking if we “wanna get messed up”.
Everything Now is another stepping stone towards Arcade Fire hitting the sweet spot of their new direction. It bares some of their best singles yet but does tend to stumble a little into it’s highlights, and would probably benefit from another session or two of trimming down. I fancy a curry now.