I think whatever it is the rest of you are hearing in The Arcade Fire, I’m hearing in The National. The only track off that last AF album I really like is “(Antichrist Television Blues)”, and even that feels too affected, too preciously Springsteen-ish without the naturality of Springsteen. No dynamics. Same problem I had with Sam’s Town, quite frankly: Brandon always sounds like he’s singing to a stadium, even when he ought to be singing like he’s talking quietly to a single person. Born To Run is a highlight, not a default option. Didn’t anybody listen to Nebraska?
I like music best when it’s intimate. And real intimacy isn’t about being as pretty or as fucking, I dunno, meaningful as you can be. It’s about space and silence and the unspoken. It’s whispering together in the dark.
There are so many shitty poseur bands around these days, I stopped keeping track about 6 years ago. I’ve had absolutely no motivation to check out Arcade Fire… seems like another throwaway band like Blur, Bloc Party, etc. I’m not demeaning any of these people’s talents, I just want some bands to come along which are truly breakthrough and have the integrity to release entire albums in a clean, signature sound, a “trademark” sound that is unequivocally the work of said band… not a Rube Goldbergy pile of trash reminiscent of 10 other bands all playing at the same time.
If an artist has to sound like another artist from our musical past, then let them do it well, the way the Redwalls (my current favorites) channel both Dylan and the Beatles, but make it sound completely fresh, new, and 21st century.
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