Band: Arcade Fire
Album: Neon Bible
Critic: Matt Wendus
Publication: Stereo Subversion, 2007
Writing Disorders: Purple Hemorrhage, Ambiguity Sickness
Most Emo Phrase: “jaunty swings that belie the gloomy temperament”
Matt, this is the second time you’ve been featured on RipFork, and this review has many of the hallmarks of your worst work: the dogged refusal to use the first person, the ample use of BS to pad paragraphs; and the silly, drawn-out metaphors to describe things that are best left for ears to figure out. Often you combine several of these traits into a single sentence:
“Neon Bible settles into a more restrained sound that speaks in statements rather than the aorta spurts of the hyper-personal Funeral”
Speaks in statements? So the album is built on something other than questions or commands? Whoa, call the International Board of Piercing Insight — I think we’ve got a shoo-in here. By the way, how does one speak in aorta spurts? I’m rather glad they don’t offer that as a high school language elective. Next.
“While Neon Bible has its fair share of tracks that tickle the tear ducts, it’s more concerned with bleakness on a broader scale”
First of all, how can an album be concerned with anything? It’s an inanimate object. A mechanism can make it spin so that a laser or needle can translate its data into sound. That’s not sentience. Second, how do you have any idea what the band is concerned with in the making of their album? Have you ever spoken to Arcade Fire? No. There’s as much of a chance of Win Butler being concerned with bleakness on a narrower scale as there is of him being concerned with bleakness on a broader scale. If you “think” something, it’s a good idea to reflect it in your writing.
“Throughout, the listener is treated to Chassagne playing the pipe organ like a bipolar Dracula as twinkling xylophone goes along for the ride.”
Dude, how do you know what any listener other than yourself will be “treated to” on this song? The chances of someone else using the same metaphor of a Bram Stoker character with a mood disorder seem slim. Just say what YOU were treated to. It’s not against the law to write an opinion piece as an opinion piece.
On to the clunky…
“All is varied, yet set into the larger framework that is the whole.”
And what framework is that? Do you even know? Could it be that you weren’t sure how to end a paragraph and resorted to clunky BS that reads like something The Dude would babble in Mr. Lebowski’s limo?
That was all well and bad, Matt, but you certainly outdid yourself with your ending:
“Neon Bible is a rich sonic tapestry of the digital age in which we fight to find answers in the flashing lights while seeking solace in the untouched corners.”
Wow, did you labor over that lengthy review just so you could write that self-serving conclusion? Matt, I know you don’t write music criticism anymore, but where there’s an Internet, there’s a way, and there’s still plenty of yours in the vaults to probe. Take care.