Consumer debt in the UK is apparently on the rise and threatening to cause all sorts of drama. Arcade Fire would appear to be to as topical as ever therefore, with album number five seemingly taking consumerism as a reference point. Whether of course you should actually buy it or spend your money on food or clothing your child is one of those ironies of such standpoints.
The satire of the album's pre-release promotional campaign and the social commentary seemingly in play is somewhat undermined by its release with a choice of two different covers (day & night) as well as coloured vinyl and one where the album title appears in 20 different languages. How many completists will be eating beans on toast for weeks on end after shelling out for one of each? Not forgetting the possible deluxe version(s) in the next year or so. Occasions like this remind me why I happily embraced digital releases & now mainly only stream albums when consuming rather than reviewing.
It's a safe bet that you'll have heard the title track a few times since it came out on June 01, given that the video for it has had over six million views on YouTube alone. No doubt too '_Creature Comfort', '_Signs Of Life' and '_Electric Blue' have also entered your ears over the eight weeks or so since then. How then does the album hang together as a whole?
On an emotional level it's sub-The Suburbs. In terms of danceability it's less infectious than Reflektor. Titling two consecutive songs 'Infinite Content' & 'Infinite_Content' ticks the pretentious box and bracketing the other 11 tracks between 'Everything_Now (Continued) and 'Everything Now (Continued)' appears to point to a CD or stream on repeat being the desired form of taking the work in so what's the point of the multiple vinyl formats?
The joyfulness of the title track doesn't infuse the whole work, meaning there's a lot of filler that wouldn't get the time of day if it was some other act's debut material. 'Put Your Money On Me' is a notable later high point and 'We Don't Deserve Love' would work better if it was shorter but, at time of publishing I'll have had the album stream for just over two days and when it expires on August 01 (hopefully with less fuss than a Mission : Impossible tape) I doubt I'll miss it much. Live, things might be significantly different but on record it's less fun to have your own gripes about the state of things reflected back at you this time around.