ARCADE FIRE – ” We “

Posted: April 27, 2022 in MUSIC

Arcade Fire disappointed a lot of fans with 2017’s “Everything Now” , but after hearing their excellent new single “The Lightning I, II,” we’re staying cautiously optimistic about their upcoming album “WE”. The two-part, six-minute song feels like the Arcade Fire we know and love, and they sound totally reinvigorated. Adding to the excitement, Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich co-produced this LP with the band, and Peter Gabriel appears on a song.

The sixth studio album from the Canadian superstars rolls back the conceptual idea to a more suitable kaleidoscopic indie-rock that references Bowie and Big Thief. It has big ballads and synth pop. It features Peter Gabriel and Father John Misty doing “stomps and breaths”, some great songs and some clunkers.

After their 2017 stumble “Everything Now”, all signs point to a return to form on Arcade Fire’s sixth studio album “WE”, coming May 6th on Columbia Records. “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” is our second of those signs so far, following the March release of dual lead track “The Lightning I, II.”

“Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” appears on the album’s “WE” side, as a press release notes, “the half of the record that channels and revels in the power and joy of human (re)connection.” Like an indie-rock Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, the track finds Win Butler addressing younger generations—and those still to come with a moving warmth and generosity of spirit, offering wisdom and encouragement over a bright, acoustic guitar-driven instrumental. “A lifetime of skinned knees / And heartbreak comes so easy / But a life without pain would be boring,” Butler counsels, with orchestral sweep and sprawl to reinforce the highs and lows through which his love will always remain unconditional.

The opening tracks, particularly this second one, which has all the hallmarks of Arcade Fire at their best – the nonchalant call and response, spatial intro, a big sprawling kick-in with tension-filled synths and drum hits (the credits have Portishead’s Geoff Barrow’s name on ‘Granular Synthesis’), strings by Owen Pallett, and world-building lyrics about Icarus and the Acropolis. And, it’s got one of those fine Reginé outros.

“There’s nothing saccharine about unconditional love in a world that is coming apart at the seams,” says Butler in a statement. “WE need each other, in all of our imperfection. ‘Lookout Kid’ is a reminder, a lullaby for the end times, sung to my son, but for everyone … Trust your heart, trust your mind, trust your body, trust your soul. Shit is going to get worse before it gets better, but it always gets better, and no one’s perfect. Let me say it again. No one’s perfect.”

There’s nothing saccharine about unconditional love in a world that is coming apart at the seams. WE need each other, in all of our imperfection. “Lookout Kid” is a reminder, a lullaby for the end times, sung to my son, but for everyone… Trust your heart, trust your mind, trust your body, trust your soul. Sh*t is going to get worse before it gets better, but it always gets better, and no one’s perfect. Let me say it again. No one’s perfect.

Produced by Nigel Godrich with Arcade Fire’s own Butler and Régine Chassagne, “WE” is easily one of the most exciting releases on the way in May. The band seem to have rediscovered the anthemic earnestness and joy that first made them a household name.

due 5/6 via Columbia Records

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