Arcade Fire

In an interview leading up to the release of Arcade Fire’s new album WE, Win Butler told Apple Music, “In order to write music, you have to have this antenna up that kind of picks up little signals from the future and signals from the past,” which is precisely the type of pretentious thing that artists say that makes people dislike artists. Arcade Fire’s bonafides across nearly 20 years in the music industry has long let them get away with stuff like that. But as the pandemic has deepened the divide between those who are earning comfortably and those who are getting blasted by debt and inflation, it appears Arcade Fire are living as the former while trying to speak for the latter. Sure, there’s moments—a memorable groove at the four-minute mark of the “Age of Anxiety I,” a cool synth and string outro at the end of “Rabbit Hole”—but for a band that so perfectly captured the spirit of the everyday person on The Suburbs in 2010, Arcade Fire’s latest falls flat and feels out touch.


-Michael Charlebois