Latest reviews

Album Review


March 10, 2015

The first solo album by the younger Butler sibling in Arcade Fire is less than half the length of his band's 2013 Reflektor. Policy is also more playful, a montage of impulses — crunchy rock, apocalyptic electro-disco, solo-John Lennon balladry...

Song Review

"Afterlife (Flume Remix)"

August 21, 2014

Aussie producer Flume transforms Arcade Fire's New Order-style dance-rock plea into 10 minutes of gargantuan house music. The results suggest an EDM festival in a Gothic cathedral – and it's darkly funny hearing the high priests of refined taste...

Song Review


September 10, 2013

Clocking in at nearly eight minutes, promoted via two different videos (one theatrical, one interactive), produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem with backing vocals by none other than David Bowie himself, the first single from the Arcade Fire's seismically...

Album Review

The Suburbs

July 21, 2010

When you call your first album Funeral, you set the bar high in terms of your maturity level. How can any young band evolve toward that full-grown third album after starting out with a meditation on death and grief? It's no problem for Arcade Fire —...

Song Review

"The Suburbs/Month of May"

June 8, 2010

"2009, 2010/Wanna make a record how I felt then," sings Win Butler on "Month of May." As usual, the Arcade Fire frontman is feeling a lot. Childhood nostalgia, suburban ennui, parenthood, war, death — these are just some of the themes crammed into the...

Album Review


December 9, 2004

The liner notes to this exceptional debut from the Arcade Fire refer to the recent deaths of several family members — which explains why Funeral aches with elegiac intensity. Chilly imagery from this indie-rock band's native Montreal dominates the...

Album Review


September 27, 2013

"If this is heaven/I need something more," Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, Arcade Fire's founding singers, declare in close, almost whispered harmony as the opening title song of their band's extraordinary new album goes into high gear. "Reflektor"...

Song Review

"Abraham's Daughter"

March 7, 2012

Count on Arcade Fire to throw a funeral at the multiplex. Their haunting, cathedral-huge battle hymn for Hunger Games updates a Civil War-era song about volunteers giving their lives for the Union, adding a ghost-children chorale led by Régine...

Song Review

"Ready to Start"

June 29, 2010

Relentless snare thwaps; a bass-line melody that would fit in an Eighties goth-pop tune. Enter Win Butler: "The businessmen drink my blood/Like the kids in art school said they would," Butler croons. (Damn you, art-school kids: always right!) But then...

Album Review

Neon Bible

February 20, 2007

The key to all that is right, weird and nobly flawed about Arcade Fire's second album is in the next-to-last song, "No Cars Go." Written by the Montrealband's founding singers, Win Butler and his wife, Regine Chassagne, "No Cars Go" — a teens-on-the-lam...