Remember Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait? Well, there it goes again. Everything Now is a deep breath for Arcade Fire, with which they’re not meeting expectations, but denying them. It sounds like they wanted fans off their backs, to release the pressure, to make something without fulfilling commitment to be great. And they’ve done it. It really sounds like Self Portrait. With all its low points and hidden glory.
Everything Now has some stellar moments like it’s magnificent and epic title song, 80s pop Sings of Life, dance-punkish yet Funeralish Put Your Money On Me, or futuristic alt country We Don’t Deserve Love. However, the rest feels like it was written by an enormously talented people, who are just messing with instruments, popping ideas and recording them as they go. I mean, Peter Pan sounds like Gorillaz and Chemistry like Prince. I love both of them, but yeah, really? That is not high-concept, emotionally-driven, heart-tearing, dancefloor-nostalgia Arcade Fire that we all love. But does it have to? I understand the idea of artists’ evolution. The Age of Adz being one of the most radical experiences of such sort. However, I think that Arcade Fire overcharged a little bit by not pushing it further. Everything Now ended up being a compilation of songs that are not a statement we are used to by an anthems-producing Canadian tearjerkers, but rather a statement of no statement in times of constant statements.
I would consider this LP a break. Not a breakthrough, or a revolution, or an evolution. An experiment without commitment. One night stand. Let’s show that we also can be irresponsible, that we can also do something not perfect or groundbreaking. We are not as prude and pure and many think. We are capable of doing something not great. It’s true Everything Now doesn’t deserve love. Often it sounds shallow, flat, trivial, emotionless, ordinary, schematic. But still, if you read between the lines, it shows how magnificently talented Arcade Fire is. Just like in case of Self Portrait. Now let’s just wait for Another Self Portrait.
Listen to: Everything Now, Sings of Life, Put Your Money On Me, We Don’t Deserve Love.