Everything Now Tackles Loneliness in a World of Technology
Canadian indie rockers The Arcade Fire’s latest album Everything Now is an incredibly ear-pleasing album that’s both fun and family friendly. It’s probably the summer album that no one realized that they needed. With a cohesive, cleverly initiated reinvigoration of classic genres such as disco and ’80s electro, the band has proven to stand the test of time. Once you find out that Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangaltar and brit-pop band Pulp’s Steve Mackey helped co-produce the album, a lot of little details within each song make sense. Simply put, there was a lot of funk on this album. Many, if not most of the songs were both lush and upbeat. The lyrics went a little deeper; tackling an array of topics, guitarist and lyricist Win Butler gives the audience a review of the world we currently live in, but it’s all open to interpretation. And while this is the fifth album release, it doesn’t sound like the band is slowing down anytime soon.
The first two songs on the album, “Everything_Now (continued)” and “Everything Now” are reminiscent of a stylistically different era. Both spacey and synthetic, the sounds are inviting and relatively pleasant to listen to. “Everything Now” is a particularly important track because it seems to address issues that newer generations face with the advancement of technology and time. According to Genius, Butler described “Everything Now” on BBC1 Radio as a song that’s “trying to capture some of the experiences of being alive now in all its flaws and all its glory.” That vibe is particularly felt through this song, making it one of the most fluid tracks, as well as a notable beginning to advance through the rest of the songs.
“Signs of Life” sounds like a dance anthem, but a quick look at the lyrics shows that Butler could be addressing life’s meaning, or rather the lack of it. The chorus blares: “Looking for signs of life/ Looking for signs every night/But there’s no signs of life.” Discussing the issue of emptiness characteristically felt by younger generations, Butler sings about how love is hard and sex is easy. Flanked by grandiose bass and a trademark disco theme, the party doesn’t stop with this song; the transition to the next seems effortless.
“Creature Comfort,” another single off the album, is anything but a comfortable track. Enigmatic and primal, the song is progressive in topic and fast in tone. Butler and wife Régine Chassagne’s dynamic as they sing their respective parts of the song is exhilarating and poetic. The thunderous succession of clashing guitars and drum patterns makes for an unpredictable track that can only be reminiscent of the early beginnings of punk rock.
The next handful of tracks kind of mush together but still are strong and unique enough to stand on their own. This is when the funky ’80s vibe truly disappears with “Peter Pan,” “Chemistry,” “Infinite Content” and “Infinite_Content (2).” Probably the most annoying and skip worthy track is “Chemistry,” which is another track that revisits punk rock. Repetitive and brash, when the song gives to the next it is almost a relief on the ears. Other than that, even the less memorable songs are bold and instrumental to the album as a whole.
“Electric Blue” revisits the previous funky dance tempo that The Arcade Fire has seemingly mastered. The catchiness follows to the next, “Good God Damn,” which is a serious head bobbing track that any listener would be a fool to miss. Butler’s vocal range, though soft and at times very quiet, is truly impressive with these two songs.
The number one favorite off of this album is the simple yet stunning track, “Put Your Money On Me.” A tale about what money does to a passionate and fiery love, Butler croons that everyone was “born innocent, but it only lasts a day.” Wary of the way people grow up and define themselves, Butler best expresses his concerns for the future in this track. It’s safe to infer that the core theme of this entire album is to specifically address how technology and internet have altered the next steps that humanity will ultimately take.
The last two tracks further address any concerns with the world as a whole. “We Don’t Deserve Love” seems to address a strain on a relationship that has been brought upon by a massive disconnect with modern society. The final song, “Everything Now (continued) (2)” revisits the beginning of the album. Notably, the short ender serves more as a reminder that the audience resides in a time of instant gratification. Needless to say, the album was worth the four year wait.