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Resurrected, Living in a Lighthouse

I haven't written any album reviews on here, so why start now? Well, honestly, Arcade Fire's Neon Bible is just too good not to spread the word about. David Dark has a more extensive review in Books and Culture, but this will have to suffice. Starting with a carnivalesque organ the album churns out dark and yet contrarily hopeful songs. Two in particular to focus on are "The Well and the Lighthouse" and "AntiChrist Television Blues." The first concerns a story of sin and redemption with the end chorus slowly chanting
"Resurrected living in a lighthouse, if you leave them ships are gonna wreck.
Resurrected, living in a lighthouse, the lions and the lambs ain't sleeping
Oblique yet illuminating for those with ears to hear. The song immediately following is the antithesis. Some schmuck wants to use his daughter (who sings beautifully) vicariously to testify about the power of God. As the song progresses he turns on his daughter, continually questions God, and finally at an abrupt end nearly yells "Oh, tell me, Lord, am I the Antichrist?"
There aren't any clinkers on this album. Definitely thoughtful pop. Wendell Berry might even appreciate the tune "No Cars Go": We know a place where no planes go/ We know a place where no ships go/ No Cars Go!/ No Cars Go!/ where we know" Is it Heaven? Some post-industrial paradise? You figure it out.
The last tune, the dirgey "My Body is a Cage" seemingly falls into the old trap of gnosticism with it's plea to "Set my spirit free." I don't think the song can be so easily written off when Win Butler sings "I'm living in an age that calls darkness light" and later cries to "Set my body free."
All in all, wow! This is my favorite album of the year. I've listened to it all summer. Good stuff.


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