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Neon Bible by The Arcade Fire

Neon Bible by The Arcade Fire, 2007, Merge Records


NEON BIBLE
by The Arcade Fire

Continuing my reviews of secular music that have Christian themes, I'm letting you in on an album released just 3 days ago. The Arcade Fire is a popular Canadian indie rock band which has a whopping seven members. Many of you who may listen to Contemporary Christian probably haven't even heard of the band or even the term indie rock. Indie rock, defined as independent, underground rock, is ironically rising to fame this decade much how the alternative genre moved to mainstream in the 90s.

The Arcade Fire often sound like a cross between Pink Floyd and Radiohead. The sound is quite a bit different from mainstream rock and it takes a few takes to soak in, especially if you only listen to radio. After you listen to the album a few times, however, you begin to truly notice the talent and quality here. Because of that, the song's don't get old. Vocalist Win Butler's messages are often paralleling consumerism to religion or contrasting religion with relationships. In the title track "Neon Bible" he makes a modern reference to the Old Testament with the "light of the golden calf." He states in track 8 that his "lips are near, but my heart is far away." Also, that he is a "God- fearing man." But these words don't mean that this is worship music. This particular song is about popularity and the world, and using these to make a deal with God. Neon Bible does state things that need to be heard to Christians though. The first single off the album "Intervention" sings, "Working for the Church while your family dies...singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart, every spark of friendship and love will die without a home." It makes a Christian wonder if they have too much religion and not enough deep, personal relationships in their lives - including Jesus. He goes on to say deep things like, "I'm living in an age that calls darkness light." But don't take this album too seriously. Sometimes Butler contradicts himself in the heavy stuff, and sometimes the songs aren't serious at all. In the end, you really don't know if the members are Christian at all. This is music, though, and great music at that. So if you're up for something new, spend a measly 10 bucks and pick up something great - Neon Bible by The Arcade Fire.

I'm not here to judge the band, but I judge the music with four stars.

- Garrett Johnson


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