Label: Arcade Fire Music
Arcade Fire are a band who needs little introduction. With five albums, a movie soundtrack and multiple festival headline slots around the world, Arcade Fire have created a legacy for themselves with hard work, little fuss and a solid back catalogue.
As the release of new album ‘WE’ got closer, it felt like Arcade Fire had found a new energy in both their presentation of themselves and in their streamed live shows. Though ‘WE’ starts as glowing embers with spacey piano, acoustic guitar and Win’s unfussed vocals, the flame catches when the bass drum starts pulsating. Turning into something of an electro tune, the drums kick in properly soon after with a beat that will see dancefloors getting pounded into submission.
‘Age Of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)’ carries on this party with a pumping beat that almost feels like an LCD Soundsystem collaboration. After the John Lennon-esque grandiose acoustic ballad of ‘End of The Empire I-III’, you can find recent singles ‘The Lightning I’ and II respectively. Part 1 serves almost as a slower prelude to Part 2’s rampant bounce, raw energy and gang vocals.
‘Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)’ is about as sweet a pep talk as you’ll receive from a stranger this year. “You can dance, you can shake, things will break, you’ll make mistakes” comes from the heart and lets you know that things won’t always go your way but “a life without pain would be boring”. The bounce to the track and the floating strings wrap themselves around your soul and are a welcome hug.
Of course, this is all only scratching the surface as ‘WE’ is an album that can be talked about at length. As well as the quality of the individual songs, the album has a flow to it that almost feels story-like.
Musically it feels like an amalgamation of all of their albums before but also a step forward and fits perfectly in the timeline of Arcade Fire. The renewed energy that they seem to have found is heard in every note and there’s a live rawness to it that is beautifully refreshing. 2022 belongs to Arcade Fire and they’ve earned it.