After surprising us all with their Godspeed You! Black 1980’s Prom sound, and forcing me to quickly (and unregrettably) declare their debut album the best release of 2004, the Arcade Fire is finally coming back, sporting an enigmatic teaser site for their new album, Neon Bible. There’s really nothing going on: basically, just call 1-866-NEON-BIBLE to hear their new song, if you can hear any part of it whatsoever. The recording sounds like it was produced by Alexander Graham Bell while kloofing in Mammoth Cave, so good luck.
Dialing a toll-free number in order to hear a new song? I guess that could be construed as novel, but I think it’s just annoying. Are they being this difficult and esoteric on purpose? They seemingly have it all: regular airplay on mainstream “alternative” radio, rabid allegiance from the O.C. set (for what that’s worth), and the new barometer of cool — the David Bowie seal of approval.
Not to be outdone, TV on the Radio decided to use His Bowieness as well, this time in the honorable post of singing not-all-that-audible background vocals on their song “Province.” Sure, it’s the best track on the CD, but it’s not like it’s Bowie that makes it golden. It’s conspicuous consumption on an already bloated album (yes, I named it the tenth best release of the year, but had it been a little more streamlined, it might have been number one).
So who’s the next it-band to use Il Bowie? The predictions for 2007 begin now!
(for the record, I would totally lose my shit if he chose Xiu Xiu.)