Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible is an album luscious of misery; it’s fully and deeply rooted in foundations rich in the dramatically maudlin and endearingly melancholic.
What a dross opening verse to a record. Try to spout those sub-Springsteen lines without sounding a prat. Uttered by Matt Berninger’s reassuring croon, though, it seems so vital. Berninger seems the sort of majestic loser that you can associate with, a man ridden with gin-soaked, existential guilt. Under the dreary-eyed malaise of ‘Fake Empire’, The National return. Whilst the triumphant fist that previous LP Alligator rose may have lowered, Boxer documents the standard relationship gripes with absolute resignation and, though not quite as immediately arresting and rampant as its plaudit-acquiring predecessor, is an album of understated brilliance.