Monday, March 19, 2007

Arcade Fire - Black Mirror

This is just a post to say that the new Arcade Fire is really really good.

Ok the music is a bit samey as the last one, but the lyrics are so marvelous - especially set to this music. I get a very similar feeling as when Radiohead's Hail to the Tief came out: the music just blends in with the way you look at the world and becomes a seamless whole. This is rock music when it is as its best - rather then being an escape from the world it is takes you in deeper into reality, making the things that happen around you even more real.

There is a lot of paranoia on this album (yes the Radiohead link is not just in my head). This is from Keep the Car Running:

If some night I don’t come home
Please don’t think I’ve left you alone
The same place that I must go when they die
You can’t climb across a mountain so high
The same city where I go when I sleep
Can’t swim across a river so deep

They know my name ‘cause I told it to them
But they don’t know where and they don’t know when
It’s coming or when
Is it’s coming? Keep the car running
A lot of the songs deal with the feeling of living in post 9-11 land, where the state distrusts us and feels it needs to monitor us (A feeling very close to me today as dark forces won the elections yesterday...). One of the most beautiful songs is the thoroughly depressing Ocean of noise. But religion is a really big theme, from The Well and the Lighthouse that seems to be about Christ, to (Antichrist Television Blues) that is about, well, anti-Christ, in the form of a parent that exploits his child for fame. In the next song, Windowstill, we get the other perspective, the kid's:
MTV, what have you done to me?
Save my soul, set me free!
Set me free! What have you done to me?
I can't breathe! I can't see!
But the penultimate song, No Cars Go, is really joyful, that seems to suggest a way out from all this paranoia and violence, in the moment "between the click of the light and the start of a dream".

The last song is a chapter of its own. Stong platonic languge, "My body is a cage, but my mind holds the Key". Several possible interpretations for this one. Like in antiquity (as I argue in my dissertation ;) ) the body is a metaphor for all those things that hold us back, in this case, "from dancing with the one I love".

I've listened to the album about ten times now, and, as you see, my impressions are still very sketchy. There is that feeling that there is still a lot more to discover here.


Halden said...

Patrik, have you listened to Poets of the Fall much? I just discovered them and found them interesting, though they're not too readily available in the states. I figured since they're an india band from Finland of all places you would be the one theologian in the know!

Patrik said...

Actually, I have no real notion of what they sound like... I have just heard them occasionally on the radio, and I listen to very little radio... Finnish music in general is horrible, so I don't tend to follow that very much, but I guess I should check them out.

Anonymous said...

Thursday, March 15, 2007
A Neon Bible Study [21 Questions and Answers]

By David Buckna

Anonymous said...

Regarding "My Body is a Cage": What if the "one I love," is God? The body is a cage preventing him from dancing with God.
Just a thought.
I LOVE this song and saw the band perform it live last night in Toronto. Magnificent!