New Arcade Fire Jul 30, 2017 11:57:26 GMT
Post by pacinoyes on Jul 30, 2017 11:57:26 GMT
I'm not a fan of the band in general, I mean in 2004 when Funeral dropped, I was listening to The Libertines and wondering if that needle was going to kill Pete Doherty, shrug......but as a band in this era, 1997-2017, and in the context of Rock history they're fascinating to talk about especially now.
As post internet era bands go, the modern era, for Rock is essentially dead for albums with a handful of established "classics" (term music journalists use, not the audience, unless they're acting like music journalists) - a few Radiohead records, Is This It, White Blood Cells, Funeral, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot...all of those are ancient really.....now I don't like all those records, and you may have a couple more you would swap in or out, sure, but the point is that Arcade Fire filled a very specific, Bowie-approved even, historical niche. They were, rather obsessively consciously creating Art more than any of their peers right from the jump - which is always a problem for Rock music- first 3 albums successfully so and in such a way that link them to the greats of that type in history - Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, Bowie, Roxy Music, REM. I mean it even has the handle "Art-rock" or "Art-pop" for Godsakes......
The thing is those artists were very much divisive in their time too - well not Talking Heads but when the critics turned on them for Naked, (and late period REM) they turned hard. That is always the way it will always be but what is different for Arcade Fire is the stakes- a failure for Bowie, made you look for something else unlike him yet also created a whole genre in his failing immediately too because he carried that kind of critical cache among artists not just critics.........for Arcade Fire, they don't have that luxury, the world moves faster and things leave them behind faster. Rock means significantly less for them now so you can kick them when they are down and in effect move on, or take pleasure from it or re-contextualize why they were ever acclaimed, whether they deserved it, what is their specific niche in where we are now?
The pool of "indie Rock" is so insular and meaningless that a "failure" from them maybe would take years to seep into the culture in the works of other artists now even in this genre.......and nobody is going to give it enough repeated listens to generate much contrary, interesting thought.
Here's the real scary thought:
It will still still generate a high placement at end of the year album lists for those who will always love the band pre-Reflektor, and is holding out for the return to form (or style) and who can't generate 4 or 5 other Rock titles this year that stand with it anyway. Because for this band, one of the few for whom Rock meant something, means something still, they are in effect the sound of one hand clapping right now. De La Soul had it backwards.........stakes is low.